Posted on August 03, 2022

Ms Simone Naicker, who holds a chemical engineering degree from the University of Pretoria and now works as a metallurgical engineer at EXXARO was the guest speaker during the online event on 23 June 2022 when the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) celebrated International Women in Engineering Day. 

A panel of leading female engineers took the conversation further after Ms Naicker’s opening address.  A discussion about the possibilities of a career in engineering for female learners.  The panellists were Prof Elsabe Kearsley, a lecturer in Civil Engineering and the President of the South African Academy of Engineering, Dr Wilna Bean, a lecturer in Industrial Engineering, Dr Nomcebo Motsa, a lecturer in Chemical Engineering and Ms Naday Meherjina, the Chairperson of EBITHouse and currently studying mechanical and aeronautical engineering.    

Ms Naicker encouraged the female learners to pursue a career in engineering while the panellists shared their experiences, challenges, and achievements with the viewers.  The essence of Simone’s message was that female engineers do not replace male engineers, but rather complement each other in the work environment.   She commented: “Understand your unique skills and discover your feminine power and bring this skillset to the table.  Be humble, work hard, acquire a mindset to constantly learn from all your colleagues, and build meaningful relationships.” 

The conversation following Ms Naicker’s address supported her views and the panellists could illustrate these views with real-life experiences.  The event was concluded with meaningful questions from the viewers which was an indication of the importance and relevancy of such an event.


Ms Naday Meherjina

Prof Elsabe Kearsley

The acting Dean of EBIT, Prof Jan Eloff commented that EBIT supports the University’s transformation mandate to promote women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).   The Faculty works with industry partners to offer sponsorships toward the Faculty’s EBIT Week for high school female learners, as well as underprivileged learners from rural areas who wish to study engineering degree programmes. This four-day immersion programme which the faculty has been offering for the past 20 years allows these high school learners to experience university life and what engineering is about.

Thank you to all our panellists and Ms Naicker, who invested in our youth to build a better future together.

Click here to view the video.  


- Author Estie Powell

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