City Rail Link engineer Jenny Chu has won the prestigious Young Engineer of the Year award and, in a traditionally male-orientated profession, is encouraging women to give engineering a go.
Chosen from nominations from around the country, Jenny was one of three in for the title at the annual Young+Innovators awards.
She says it's been challenging as a woman. "This is because at times I feel that more effort is required from me to prove myself. At the same time, it's also been very rewarding. I like challenges and that's why I am an engineer.
"Since I was a little girl growing up in Hong Kong, I have always been fascinated by engineering. This was because my father was an engineer and opportunities to visit his projects and seeing how proud he was on his work really inspired me to be an engineer, just like him."
What qualities are needed?
Jenny says that in addition to the technical STEM skills and knowledge, you need the ability to work as part of a team, communication skills, a strong analytical mind, attention to detail and the desire to learn.
"I've also learnt that being able to understand the wider context of the issue at hand, and the values of the people and the community setting is really helpful for developing creative solutions."
She says it's exciting to be working on the Auckland Council and government-sponsored City Rail Link project.
"It's special because it's technically challenging to build twin tunnels and stations in an intensely developed city centre and because it's the biggest infrastructure that New Zealand has undertaken to date.
"It's also important because of the profound impact CRL has on our city and our people, and the transformational development it enables. I'm super excited and proud to be part of the team that helps build this legacy."
As for the biggest lesson she has learned so far she says, "Don't take anything or anyone for granted."
Read her full interview on City Rail Link.