What did I need to learn to do this job?
My favourite subjects at school were maths, physics and music. I went to university to become an electrical engineer, and I recently started studying again for a master’s degree in renewable energy, specialising in wind energy.
For my job, you need to know a lot about applied science (science that you use) and maths, be very organised and be good at working in teams. I am very curious and I always like to learn new things. I’m also very good at speaking in public and explaining technical things to different people.
Natalia Zacur, 34, Argentina
Tough cables that can take a lot of twisting
I have always loved science, and as a child I was interested in space-related topics. What amazed me the most were the videos of the people in the control tower during rocket launches, especially during the countdown. I don’t work at NASA, as I once dreamt, but I am very happy working as an electrical engineer.
I carry out studies on electrical infrastructure, such as generators, power lines and anything related to energy consumption, to help companies and the government make decisions about renewable energy.
In a wind turbine, there are many cables that need to be fully understood. Some cables are related to control systems, others to communications or batteries. The most important cables are those that carry electricity from the generator in the nacelle (the box on the top of the tower) to the transformer on the ground. These cables have to be very tough. The upper part of the wind turbine rotates to follow the direction of the wind and so the cables have to take a lot of twisting.
It was challenging for me to get to where I am today. Several times I was told I couldn’t become an engineer because I was a woman. However, I never listened to the people who told me this. Instead, I studied hard, made lots of good friends, graduated from university and found work in the area that I was interested in, namely energy.
Even though women are not yet seen as equal to men in Argentina, the country is going through an amazing process where lots of old prejudices about what women can and can’t do are being questioned, and I am confident that in some years, the situation will be much more equal.