Jane Zeng is eager to promote the energy industry as an opportunity for the next generation of engineers, regardless of their discipline.
As a structural engineer, Jane Zeng had not expected to find her professional home at an energy company. She began her career as a consulting engineer working on high-rise buildings.
Then Energex, now part of Energy Queensland (EQL), caught her eye.
She told create, “I was wondering: an electrical company — what could a structural engineer do for them?
“But I started to see the importance of this path as a structural engineer in the electricity industry. Everything we build is the foundation of the network.”
Zeng’s focus is the web of infrastructure that keeps energy flowing — ensuring it is safe, that it is operating economically, that power gets to customers when needed.
“Our priorities are safety, keeping the lights on, financial stability,” she said.
That has involved delivering electricity distribution, substation and transmission projects, as well as seeking opportunities to enhance business outcomes beyond the traditional scope of an engineer.
She has found a passion for people development, leading her to join EQL’s Engineering Development Committee.
“The purpose of the [committee] is to provide leadership, guidance, subject matter expertise and support for the decision-making process, and management of EQL’s engineering development program,” she said.
As a committee member, Zeng has led the development of a civil and structural graduate engineer program to strengthen the company’s talent pool. She has also promoted Chartered status for non-registered and graduate engineers.
She sees Chartered status as a core part of her strategy for developing the capabilities of her team.
“I translate the Charter competency philosophy to my focus on safety, technical competencies, innovative design, sustainability and people development to support my team,” Zeng said.
“It’s not just about focusing on the technical parts of the job; it’s also about developing skills and techniques we can use to foster other important aspects, such as innovation, sustainability and people development.”
Zeng describes herself as a passionate supporter of women in STEM, saying she strives to help young women succeed in a male-dominated industry. She is also a mentor to CareerTrackers students in the Young Indigenous Women in STEM Academy.
“Having greatly benefited from mentorship myself, I recognise the value of women supporting each other in this industry,” she said.
Jane Zeng’s tips for success
- Have your dreams — it is never too late and they are never too big.
- Prepare for opportunities so that you are ready when they come.
- Identify your weaknesses and strengthen and overcome them.
- Be yourself and be authentic.
- Seek mentorship and sponsorship to support your development.
Interested in learning more about the Chartered credential? You may already have what it takes to become Chartered. Find out more here and start your pathway to Chartered today.