As a Quality and Assurance Engineer, my job, in simple terms, is to ensure we do the job right. We make sure we do what we set out to do.
Quality is ‘conformance to requirements’. We ensure requirements are understood, planned for in the design and verify the final product is as it should.
Equipment and services in the industry need to meet a quality standard. If not, it can lead to our people getting seriously injured or cause damage to the environment.
I have worked in a variety of environments: in manufacturing plants (USA and England), in design offices (USA), as well as project support offices (Malaysia and Australia). I have also had the pleasure of visiting many equipment supplier sites in Europe and in Asia, including beautiful parts of the world like Lake Como and Milan in Italy.
I work mostly with Subsea Equipment. The equipment is designed to withstand high pressures (around 10,000 psi which is 300x the pressure in your car tires) and is used to control the flow of hydrocarbons from the wellhead through pipelines to a processing facility (offshore or onshore).
Once the equipment is installed, most of it will not see the light of day until the field is decommissioned, which could be anywhere from 20 to 50 years away!
Due to the depth of the waters the equipment is installed in, we use remotely operated vehicles, known as ROVs, to install and test the equipment subsea. Additionally, we utilize ROVs for any intervention work that is required.
My work has brought me so many accomplishments. I was the youngest female project quality manager in my previous company (a fortune 500 company with over 25,000 employees).
I have met many wonderful and inspiring people from many walks of life, backgrounds and nationalities.
I have enjoyed seeing my work come to life. After years in the making, it is very fulfilling to see things go from paper to reality.
I am proud of the positive impact that my quality teams have had in the delivery of projects and in solving complex issues.
My advice to young people starting out is to be brave and trust your instincts, but also, look after yourself! You are no good to your loved ones if you are broken.
I’m surprised that I ended up working in the Subsea sector, let alone in quality engineering, but I am very grateful I did. It was my parents who encouraged me to go into engineering and to travel abroad for my studies and work, their continuous support enabled me to do it.
Now as a working mother, I’m very appreciative of my supportive partner. He always cheers me on when things get tough and is a strong supporter of my career. He is a real partner.
Our 2-year-old son is growing up to see mum and dad sharing equal loads in the household as normal.
If I have a daughter, I hope that she will have the same opportunities as my son. I also hope that inequality will vanish one day, where I come from inequality is worsening and most of the population is unable to meet their basic needs.
I am working towards a world that is more equal and fair, where we all have the same opportunities regardless of gender or ethnicity.