Women in Engineering - ACT Government virtual panel

International Women in Engineering Day 2021

In recognition and celebration of Women in Engineering Day 2021 ACT Chief Engineer, Adrian Piani will be hosting the virtual panel discussion featuring Professor Elanor Huntington and an esteemed panel of women from across the engineering industry.  

The event will bring together perspectives from women across engineering with a focus on education, women in construction, Women in STEM strategy, and gender diversity in science and technology.

The discussion will touch on themes from: increasing diversity and gender equity as we transition into the digital age, gender sensitive urban design, and local ACT development initiatives. 

ACT Government and Major Projects Canberra is teaming with ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science to mark International Women in Engineering Day with this virtual panel discussion. Attendees will be invited to participate and share insights on how the profession is being redefined, and how to support a sustainable pipeline of talented women engineers.

Please join us at this event by registering through the ACT Government.

Date: Wednesday 23 June 2021
Time: 12pm-1pm

To attend this virtual event on the day, use this WebX link.



Professor Elanor Huntington is the first female Dean of Engineering and Computer Science at The Australian National University (ANU). She is committed to raising the profile of Science and Technology in the community and is on mission to encourage young women to get involved in STEM related fields.

"We stand on the cusp of a rare transformative period in the interaction between technology and society. We live in a highly connected world where technology has been democratised, disrupted and is being distributed in unprecedented ways. The opportunities for individuals and society are huge, as are the risks. Engineers are the people who balance technological opportunity with risk. We need engineers now more than ever."








Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at The Australian National University (ANU)

Professor Elanor Huntington is Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at The Australian National University (ANU). Elanor is an established senior academic leader, with Board appointments to Industry Innovation and Science Australia, Significant Capital Ventures, Questacon and other government scientific advisory roles. In 2017 she was named an honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia, led the extended Group of Eight (Go8+) Engineering Deans as first female Chair up until 2019 and more recently became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2020.

Prior to joining the ANU, Elanor was the Head of Engineering and IT at University of New South Wales (UNSW). During this time, she helped bring about significant transformation within the School, including setting up UNSW Space and The Australian Centre for Cyber Security.

In 2000, Elanor completed her PhD in experimental Quantum Optics at the ANU. Her current research includes the control of quantum systems, more specifically; the interface between theory and applications. In 2009, Elanor completed a Masters of Information Technology, also through the ANU.

Elanor has recently been selected to provide expert advice to the newly established Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence. In 2017 she delivered a TEDxSydney Talk on ‘Why we need Engineers now more than ever’ and later in 2019, co-founded the Engineering for Australia Taskforce to provide expert advice on addressing barriers to women’s participation in university engineering programs.

As Dean, Elanor does more than contemplate the difference between distinctions and high distinctions. Her innovative thinking has recast engineering and computer science at the ANU with an unprecedented investment to reimagine the way we do things.


Executive Branch Manager
Commercial Infrastructure, ACT Government

Rebecca is an Executive Branch Manager and the executive champion for Women in Construction at Major Projects Canberra, responsible for the delivery of a broad range of infrastructure for the Territory. She brings a strong determination to create a diverse and equitable construction industry, with a lifetime of experience of challenging systemic bias to create equal opportunities for all. In recognition for these efforts, Rebecca received the Crystal Vision Award from NAWIC in 2020.

With 30 years of construction industry experience in research, architecture, leadership, strategic planning, procurement and project management, she now leads a team of 40 professionals managing projects that range from minor upgrades to playspaces to major projects including education facilities, arts centres and bus infrastructure. It is a very broad remit and requires a great deal of critical and strategic acumen to keep it all on track.

In all of the roles she has undertaken throughout her career Rebecca has always strived to empower and encourage women. She firmly believes that the achievements of women in the construction industry should make the journey less difficult for the next generation, so that those that follow do not need to face the same challenges to prove their worth.


Project Director, Common Ground Dickson
Major Projects Canberra, ACT Government

With over 13-years industry and project-related experience, Skye is a strong advocate for female participation and women in construction. She has a passion for diversity and inclusion in project delivery actively mentoring individuals as well as looking for opportunities to create pathways for increased participation and retention. She was awarded the Leadership in Construction Runner Up Award at the 2020 NAWIC ACT Crystal Vision Awards for Excellence.

As Project Director on Common Ground Dickson, Skye and her team are responsible for delivering 40 permanent supportive housing units for people experiencing chronic homelessness and for low-income earners with the onsite support services to help them stay housed. Skye is a highly sought after resource on major and complicated infrastructure projects. She enjoys bringing people together to find practical solutions to complex problems.




ACT Chief Engineer and Executive Group Manager Infrastructure Delivery Partners
Major Projects Canberra, ACT Government

Adrian Piani is an Environmental Engineer with over 20 years’ experience, predominately in the water resources, environmental and infrastructure sectors. In 2019 he joined the ACT Government to take on the role of ACT Chief Engineer where he provides strategic advice to government on infrastructure projects and supports the engineering cohort through the ACT Government Engineering Workforce Plan. He is a Chartered Fellow and Engineer Executive of Engineers Australia. Adrian is a proud Canberran and is passionate about the role that infrastructure plays in supporting our wellbeing and quality of life.



Date & time

12–1pm 23 Jun 2021


Online Webinar

Internal speakers

Professor Elanor Huntington


ACT Chief Engineer, Adrian Piani (host)


0423 766 966

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing