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Senior Project Manager Nina Michaelides: "This career choice appealed to me as I could see that engineers can tangibly improve people’s quality of life and the environment. It’s been rewarding in that it has afforded me an avenue to combine my profession with my passions."

A career in engineering has allowed Development Victoria’s Senior Project Manager Nina Michaelides the opportunity to travel the world and be involved in a range of significant projects.

From being part of emergency responses to natural disasters in Asia and the South Pacific to working on water and wastewater projects overseas and in Australia to helping shape Melbourne’s public transport network, Nina has built up a versatile CV.

June 23 is International Women in Engineering Day, an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the amazing work of women in the engineering space. 

We’re lucky at Development Victoria to have many outstanding female engineers working for our organisation on a range of projects.

Nina’s leaning towards a career in engineering began at home. Her father was an electrical engineer and her mother was a biochemist and maths teacher. She completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) and a Bachelor of Arts (Indonesian) at The University of Melbourne. 

“My brothers and I were encouraged to take an interest in science and particularly how the physical world works from a young age,” Nina said.

This career choice appealed to me as I could see that engineers can tangibly improve people’s quality of life and the environment.

“It’s been rewarding in that it has afforded me an avenue to combine my profession with my passions, such as social change, the arts and travel.”

Nina’s engineering experience in water and sanitation came to the forefront when she was part of UNICEF emergency response teams that helped communities following the 2006 earthquake in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, and following Cyclone Pam that caused widespread damage across Vanuatu in 2015. 

Nina is a member of RedR Australia, a leading international humanitarian response agency that selects, trains and deploys technical specialists globally.

Closer to home, working as a Design Manager on the Galkangu Bendigo GovHub project with the Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Corporation - known as Djaara - is another career highlight and privilege for Nina. 

“The building’s visual representation of First People’s culture, language and stories will allow a sharing of knowledge with the broader community so that they can gain insights into Aboriginal philosophy and perspectives,” Nina said.

What advice would Nina give to a young girl considering a career in engineer? “It’s important to seek out mentors and build a wide network in areas that interest you.”

“Highlighting and celebrating the achievements of women in engineering will inspire girls to seriously consider engineering as an exciting profession.” 

“Engineering solutions affect all people so it’s important that a cross section of society is at the decision-making table to ensure the best outcomes,” Nina said.

Updated on 23 June 2022