International Women in Engineering Day


The 23 June each year marks International Women in Engineering Day, celebrating the achievements of women across the engineering industry. At David Brown Santasalo (DBS) we pride ourselves on diversity and encouraging more women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to consider a career within the engineering and manufacturing industry.

As we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, we are pleased to share some inspiring interviews with some of our colleagues across the globe, discussing their roles in the industry and some of their incredible achievements.

Henna-Riikka Aaltio – Material Specialist

Henna-Riikka Aaltio is a Material Specialist at our state of the art manufacturing industry in Jyväskylä, Finland. Henna told us, “I have worked for David Brown Santasalo for 8 years now as a Material Specialist. Since I joined the company in the spring of 2016, I have had wide responsibilities in metallurgical related matters.

For example, creating, maintaining and updating material specifications, planning and carrying out material tests for development purposes. I also audit and control the quality of heat treatment and material suppliers, along with implementing international factory requirements related to materials, and giving material technology training to other engineers at DBS.

My favourite part of my role as Material Specialist is the variation of duties I am tasked with, as no two days are the same. I have the opportunity to meet a variety of great people across our global DBS sites and through our external stakeholders, which is another element I love about my role. Working in engineering and specifically a gear unit business has expanded my understanding of the global industrial supply chain, which includes the wide range of manufacturing from raw materials, finished components and machining in different industrial environments. I am fortunate to have graduated as a Master of Science in the department of Material Technology which I thoroughly enjoyed, to then being in such a great role as a Material Specialist at DBS, with such a great working environment.”

Hlobisile Bhuda & Dineo Malatje - Fitters

Hlobisile Bhuda is a Fitter at our manufacturing facility in Benoni, South Africa. Hlobisile told us, “I have worked for David Brown Santasalo for 3 years now. I studied as an Apprentice Fitter in 2021, and qualified in May last year. My role as a Fitter focuses on the assembly process involved with the gearboxes we work on, integrating the various components to build the gearbox unit. It can be very challenging at times, but the difficulty of finding a specific fault in a gearbox and reassembling the unit is one of my favourite parts of this role.

DBS has a brilliant working environment here in South Africa, it’s a great team of people and inclusive to everyone. I look forward to my future in engineering as I’d like to be more involved in the maintenance side of the work we do at DBS. There is so much more to learn and I look forward to the prospects of getting there.”

Dineo Malatje is also a Fitter at our Benoni facility. Dineo told us, “I love my role working as a Fitter for David Brown Santasalo. I have worked for the company for 7 years, starting as an Apprentice Fitter and becoming qualified in 2020. Since that time I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different departments and came back to the fitting shop in January of this year. DBS is a really nice place to work, everybody really gets along and there is a real sense of team spirit. I would describe it as a home from home, as I am lucky to come to work and look forward to each new day. I have always enjoyed the work involved in the assembly process, it keeps you on your toes with problem solving and the daily tasks are very interesting.”

Ruby Davenport - Trainee Metallurgist

Ruby Davenport is a Trainee Metallurgist at our manufacturing facility in Huddersfield, UK. Ruby told us, “I am a Trainee Metallurgist, which means I am part of the team of people responsible for ensuring the quality and integrity of materials used in the manufacturing process on site at DBS UK. I have been in this specific role for 18 months, but have worked for DBS for 4 years, previously working as a non-destructive testing technician.

I enjoy my current role as it’s so diverse and dynamic. The hands-on work in testing and analysing materials promotes continuous learning, which always keeps the role interesting. I also enjoy working at DBS because of the supportive and collaborative work environment, where colleagues are helpful and create a positive workplace atmosphere. Furthermore, the importance and impact of the key projects we work on provides me with a sense of accomplishment and pride.”

Georgina Serey - Regional Integrated Management System & EHS Officer

Georgina Serey is Head of the Integrated Management System and EHS Department, at our Service Centres in Antofagasta and Santiago, Chile. Georgina said, “I have worked for David Brown Santasalo for 9 years now. I work across three different departments at DBS, in the Integrated Management System within Quality, Safety and Environment. I thoroughly enjoy this role and the opportunities that it comes with, being able to work with different teams in the development of their specific areas, both administratively and operationally.

It’s a joy to be a part of my colleagues’ improvements and successes, which is the product of a great team of people that I work with. I see DBS as a great learning environment, and in my case a laboratory where I can apply previous successful experiences and learn how many new ones have worked.”

The Women's Engineering Society (WES)

International Women in Engineering Day began 11 years ago, founded by The Women’s Engineering Society (WES). The charity was originally founded in 1919 at the end of the First World War, as women who had been temporarily employed in technical fields during this period found it challenging, if not impossible, to continue working as engineers. In the last 100 years WES has supported women in engineering to fulfil their potential and push for the engineering industry to be inclusive.

Join us in celebrating International Women in Engineering Day as we recognise the achievements of these exceptional professionals and our commitment to supporting and empowering women in engineering.

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