DMT celebrates International Women in Engineering Day (INWED)

#TransformTheFuture - That's the motto this year for International Women in Engineering Day, which is celebrated every year on 23 June under the auspices of UNESCO. INWED is an international awareness campaign, to raise the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry.

As a leading brand in sectors which are typically dominated by males, for example mining and industrial engineering, DMT is playing its part in transforming the future - not only with innovative engineering solutions, but also by promoting balance, diversity and inclusion. In support of INWED 2019, within the next seven days we will introduce you to some of our female colleagues in the field of engineering and let them share insights into their working life and give their take on "Engineering Performance".

Let them inspire you!

Sandra Fallsehr, Project Manager Geotechnical & Environmental Engineering, DMT GmbH & Co. KG

Sandra, how long have you worked for DMT?

I have been at DMT since 1998 – over 20 years! For me, DMT was and still is an attractive employer.  

What exactly is your field of activity at DMT?

I work in environmental engineering and am involved in planning, consulting and monitoring. In particular, I work on projects involving the measurement of pollutants in buildings, dismantling, waste disposal or soil management.

What do you find so appealing about your job?

Environmental Engineering is a fascinating and challenging sector, which is constantly developing. I particularly appreciate having such varied tasks and dealing with new and very interesting customers all the time, as well as working in a great team!

In your opinion, do women face particular challenges in the field of engineering?

No, I wouldn’t say that – As a woman, I have had predominantly positive experiences throughout my career in this sector, even though it is still dominated by men.

What do you appreciate most about working for DMT?

The possibility of being able to divide my working time freely in order to balance my professional and private life. That is so important nowadays, especially when you're on the go a lot with your job. I also appreciate the independent, self-reliant way of working.

What does "Engineering Performance" mean to you?

For me it’s all about working out individual and innovative solutions for the customer. I associate this with three important keywords: For me, engineering performance means "know how - up to date - high end".

Trisha Ramsaroop, Geologist, DMT Kai Batla Pty Ltd

When and why did you join DMT?

I joined DMT in January 2015 and started off as an Intern Geologist. DMT was attractive to me as a geological consultancy at the time. Within the first year of me being at DMT I discovered my passion for Geotechnical Engineering and was supported by my colleagues from South Africa and Germany in developing this aspect in my profession.

What’s your engineering experience?

So far I have only actively been involved in geotechnical engineering investigations and associated work thereof. In addition to the practical investigations, I have also helped with marketing a DMT tool (Slim Borehole Scanner) which is used in roof bolt planning under geotechnical mining applications. DMT Group does however provide a much wider variety of engineering services, so I have a lot more to explore in the field of geotechnics.

What attracted you to your area of work?

I opted to study geology because I want to be involved with the physical elements of the earth, ie. soil and rocks, and their impacts on our surroundings. I did not have a full understanding of Geotechnical Engineering at that time, but after I became involved in the geothechnical investigations, I felt like this created a more complete picture for me. Geotechnical Engineering gives you the potential of looking at a building, bridge or structure and saying “I was part of the initial ground engineering on this project” – This is most definitely a proud feeling for me. The data collection, interpretation and discussion around this work just seems to contribute to my professional success and satisfaction.

Should we do more to encourage women in engineering professions?

In the field of physical engineering and various other industries as well, females still do face a challenge of not been taken as seriously as their counterparts. However, I have been fortunate enough to meet some very strong willed woman within the industry and they have influenced my thinking in a positive outlook. In my opinion women are certainly a strong minded element of nature, which makes them so unbreakable.

What I do personally feel is that men and woman complement each other, and this needs to be accepted by both genders. A balance needs to be achieved and ideally, we should work on that merit to achieve effective team work in any organization, and ultimately thrive on strengths of both male and female. I have been in situations where, as a female, I enter a boardroom with only males, and they come out to say, “it’s good to finally have a lady around the table”. This is just one sign that women have the potential to be accepted in an industry “under construction”. We should work on that.

What do you value about working at DMT?

The diversity of being a global consultancy and providing a diverse range of services.

How would you define “Engineering Performance”?  

I see engineering performance quite simply as an emphasis on quality and pro-active engineering services, which is ultimately what the DMT group offers.

Eva Schörner, Geophysicist, DMT Petrologic GmbH & Co. KG

Eva, when and why did you join DMT?

I joined DMT in 2011 for an internship after my bachelor’s degree in geophysics and geoinformatics. I was curious to gain some practical experience as a geophysicist, so I started working on DMT’s seismic acquisition projects. This led to the chance to write my master's thesis in cooperation with DMT’s daughter company DMT Petrologic in Hanover. I was taken over after completion of my degree and have been working here as a seismic data processing geophysicist since 2016.

What does your job involve?

At DMT Petrologic, we provide advanced seismic data processing and imaging services for companies from all over the world. This means we assist them in finding subsurface reservoirs by creating detailed images of the underground. In addition to that, DMT Petrologic provides support for seismic data acquisition projects. This is the field I am most experienced in. My tasks involve survey design, supervising data quality control on the field crews and the responsibility for seismic data management.

We are a small and flexible department and have close contact to our clients. This is precisely why we can fit our services to the special demands of each project.

What do you particularly enjoy about your job?

When I started working on seismic acquisition crews, I was taken by the opportunity to travel to different places for work. Particularly, I like the exchange with colleagues from all different countries and cultures. The daily tasks of my job as a geophysicist are diverse and offer a good balance between data processing in the office and field assignments. Every project involves new challenges and I like the freedom to create new workflows and find strategies to fulfil new requirements.

What’s your personal experience as a "woman in engineering"?

As a younger woman in a field which is dominated by male colleagues, it is important to obtain the self-confidence to stand up for yourself when you know you are right. However, sometimes it is still a challenge to embrace new opportunities and stand out from the crowd.

From my experience, women are usually treated with a lot of respect even when working in a “rough” environment such as in seismic acquisition crews. We still do have some special standing and leave a lasting memory especially when we are doing a good job.

What do you like about working at DMT?

Working at DMT Petrologic gives me the chance to support our projects all the way from beginning to the end. I am trusted to take over the responsibility for all necessary steps in a project and given backup and support when necessary. At the same time, I am flexible and have a lot of freedom when meeting my work tasks. Since I work in quite a small division, I have the chance to address potential problems straight to my supervisors and discuss daily business with my colleagues.

What does "Engineering Performance" mean to you?

Standing behind the products and services we provide and ensuring their excellent quality. I achieve this by paying attention to detail and applying my seismic expertise.

Jutta Layher, Head of Sales - Coke Oven Gas Plants, DMT GmbH & Co. KG

How long have you been at DMT?

I started at DMT in November 2018. I was looking for a new, varied job and DMT offered me just that.   

What is your area of expertise?

I have been working in sales for 20 years with a focus on international plant engineering. I therefore know the requirements of the customers, the opportunities and the pitfalls in the business very well. I am currently in charge of sales activities in the field of coke oven gas plants and am involved in all steps of the process - from receipt of customer specifications to the signing of the contract. My tasks also include concept development, discussions with customers and subcontractors.

And does your job at DMT meet your expectations?

I expected variety, exciting technology and collegial cooperation – and yes, that’s what I found. It's fun that not every project is the same, but requires new solutions every time. That keeps the job exciting.

What challenges do you see for women in engineering?

As a female engineer, you still have to prove yourself in your new job and convince your colleagues and customers. Today, however, this has become much easier than when I began my career, because there are now more women in the technical field. Society has also become more open.

What do you value about working at DMT?

Teamwork is very important at DMT - there is no distinct hierarchy. Working in international projects also makes it possible to come into contact with other cultures.

How would you define "Engineering Performance"?

It's innovative and up-to-date technical know-how complemented by profound market knowledge to identify and realize the customer's business potential and to identify and overcome their stumbling blocks. It's more than just engineering competence, it's about going the extra mile.

Babli Dey, Consultant, DMT Consulting Private Ltd

When and why did you join DMT? 

I joined DMT at the end of 2016. One of the key driving factors for me was indeed the DMT reputation in the domain of natural resources business, which was also the field of my academic background as a geophysicist. Another reason was the “proud factor” of opting for a company with such a long history of leadership in the industry.

How would you describe your tasks and career development?

My main tasks are geophysical data acquisition, data processing and assisting mining teams in various day to day activities.

I started my journey as a geophysicist and in the tenure of almost 2,5 years have worked on different projects related to gravity, magnetic and resistivity surveys in India and overseas. I’m currently working as Field Manager on one of the ongoing flagship projects, a 2D seismic survey in Mozambique, together with a DMT team from Germany.

What attracted you to your area of work?

As I was born in a city of Oil and Coal, I always had a penchant to work in this industry, basically in the field where I can explore the real time operations. I am thankful to DMT for providing me this opportunity.

Have you noticed any particular obstacles and / or advantages for women in the industry?

Well, from my perspective, diversity – from gender diversity to culture, age, and race – has been shown to foster creativity and innovation. Various reputed “Big Boys” across in industrial sectors are seeking to prioritize and benefit from a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Men and women will inevitably have different experiences and backgrounds, which shape their approach to business. Challenging each other and collaborating with people who think differently can breed creativity and promote the innovative ideas that push organizations forward. However, I’m certain that in our industry, being a woman geophysicist is sometimes a bit hard as working in the field is always challenging. At DMT, however, the female factor has never proved to be a reason for objection or rejection, rather I find we are much appreciated and motivated.

What do you like about working at DMT?    

DMT has a wonderful reputation.This place has a high value on employees and encourages us to learn, grow, and innovate. This means that employees happily work here for many years, far beyond the average length with one employer. And, according to our customers, the high quality of our products and services reflects high employee satisfaction, which is not surprising. This feels like a win-win-win for stakeholders, employees, and customers, and I’m proud to be a part of the DMT group.

What’s your definition of "Engineering Performance"?  

Engineering Performance reflects our mission to bring a workforce that marks the world with their excellence and innovation.

Nadine Kohl, Senior Expert Mining Engineering, DMT GmbH & Co. KG

Nadine, what brought you to DMT?

I wrote my Master’s thesis at DMT in 2005 and was offered a position as an engineer the following year. DMT is a popular employer for students working on their final theses: We were able to work on varied and exciting topics and were well looked after. As an employee, I was then able to pursue mining-specific topics that I’d covered during my degree.

What exactly does your field of engineering cover now?

I work in the mining sector and provide engineering for national and international mining projects. This includes, for example, rock mechanics, shaft planning, mine design, extraction planning and much more. The topic of radioactive waste disposal also plays a major role in my work: I undertake the planning for the final disposal of radioactive waste, the development of storage concepts and the planning for the retrieval of radioactive waste, taking into account mining and radiation protection issues. In the area of sustainability and raw materials, I am currently developing a certification scheme with colleagues to ensure the sustainable extraction of mineral raw materials (CERA). This is my contribution to address what is an important topic in society: How can we extract natural resources more sustainably and also certify this?

How has your career developed within DMT?

Initially, I worked as a junior expert, preparing rock mechanic and support engineering plans for underground mining and participated in feasibility studies and research projects relating to the extraction of underground deposits. After about five years, in 2010, I progressed to coordinating and managing projects in repository mining. Since 2017, I have also been involved in business development in the area of sustainability and raw materials.

What do you like about your work at DMT?

The tasks at DMT and especially in my working environment are very varied and varied, I never get bored. In most projects, we work together with TÜV Nord on a cross-divisional and cross-group basis in order to access the wide range of knowledge available and provide customers with comprehensive planning from a single source. This enables me to get to know new topics and employees time and again, which I find very exciting and challenging. What's more, at DMT we work well together as a team and work flexibly. The pleasant working atmosphere makes it possible for me to contribute my own ideas.

How do you assess the position of women in the more male-dominated mining sector?

That's a question that depends very much on every single situation and every single working environment. As a young engineer, I naturally had to assert myself first, but no more or less than my male colleagues. I think in the end people are convinced because of how good someone is, regardless of their gender. 

What does "Engineering Performance" mean for you?

For me, the term Engineering Performance means what DMT does every day: we develop individual, smart solutions tailored to customer requirements for demanding engineering tasks.

Nadine Hauburg, Exploration & Engineering Geophysics, DMT GmbH & Co. KG

Nadine, what brought you to DMT?

My first day at DMT was February 1st, 2017. I had already heard of the DMT Group while studying at university and knew it was company that is active in the field of geophysics, among other things. After my degree, I wanted the opportunity to apply my much learned theoretical knowledge in practice.

What is your field of activity at DMT?

I deal with the project-related processing and evaluation of geophysical data used for underground exploration close to the surface. Some of the methods I have been able to work with so far include engineering seismics, georadar, 3D borehole radar, geoelectrics and gravimetry.

What appeals to you about this enginering sector?

What I learned during my studies can be put into practice, which is great. I also like having ever-changing challenges in diverse projects, so that I constantly get to use different geophysical exploration methods or combinations. The results and findings are often the same, but it’s good to validate them in different ways and understand when to apply which technique.

After my studies I expected to have to specialize in one geophysical method. It is therefore all the better that I can always use different methods depending on the customer's needs.

As a female engineer, are you ever confronted with particular advantages or disadvantages?

The proportion of men in my profession is relatively high. Nevertheless, I do not feel disadvantaged in my work as a woman, nor am I aware of any special benefits.

What do you enjoy most about working at DMT?

The collegial way of dealing with each other – we’re all friends. I also think that DMT offers us good opportunities to combine work and family or leisure time, in the form of flexitime or the possibility of working from home.

What’s your definition of "Engineering Performance"?

For me, Engineering Performance is DMT's all-round competence. From the development of new measuring systems or software, to the qualified handling and deployment of both in the field and the processing of the data obtained. And of course, this also includes the preparation and interpretation of the data for the customer. It also means that DMT and its companies work closely together globally on international projects.