International Women’s Day

Carla Boehl

Carla Boehl
Carla Boehl

Dr. Carla Boehl has been recognised for her international achievements as an engineer and promoter of women in engineering. She was a finalist in one of 12 categories in the award scheme run by the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to recognise and maintain links with the high numbers of successful Portuguese Expatriates.

The awards attract a lot of attention and Carla was interviewed by the national media after receiving her award at a televised ceremony on 23 July 2010 in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, attended by the First Lady, Maria Barroso. Carla is married and believes her award also recognised her role as mother of two.

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Carla studied Civil Engineering Faculty of Engineering of Porto University in Portugal then went to the University of Stuttgart, Germany, where she received her Master of Science and Doctorate. She worked for various organisations in Germany, Belgium and the US, including the European Commission and the top management consulting firm McKinsey & Co, before travelling to Queensland in 2006.

Carla joined the Water Corporation earlier this year as Supervising Engineer, Asset Strategy, in the Planning and Capability Group after a couple of years in Queensland with Townsville Water. The low numbers of female colleagues there prompted her to encourage more women to enter the profession and she became a role model for the Queensland Government’s ‘Women in Hard Hats’ campaign. She was also involved in the CSIRO Scientists in Schools Program and was a mentor for Townsville City Council’s Young Women’s Mentoring Program.

In WA she is the Vice-Chair of the Engineers Australia ‘Women in Engineering’ Committee and she was involved with the Water Corporation’s ‘Women of Water’ group.

In Townsville, Carla developed a partnership under the umbrella of the Scientists in Schools Program with a local School to increase participation and engagement in science, particularly girls. She volunteered to work with the Townsville Women in Engineering Committee organising networking events for female engineers and students. She has mentored secondary school girls from local schools under Townsville City Council’s Young Women’s Mentoring Program. Carla participated in the Women in Hard Hats campaign visiting schools and career fairs giving talks on careers in engineering.

Carla is a fantastic example of a female engineer balancing her work and family commitments successfully, and demonstrating to girls (of all ages), that a leadership role and a career in engineering are not only possible for a woman, but desirable. She trained University students in engineering tasks during their vacation and encouraged girls to pursue their careers in science and engineering.

Carla makes a difference because she is self-motivated, a travelled and extrovert woman, who enjoys interacting with intelligent people, of different backgrounds and culture, and gets job satisfaction from developing people. She’s frequently asked to act as Referral by her former subordinates as well as University students that she has supervised, myself being among them.

Story contributed by Katherine Vercoe.