Engineer mentoring the next generation

While Flying Officer Maddison Brassil has been acknowledged for her work at the Air Combat Electronic Attack System Program Office, it’s her participation in the Amberley Engineering Mentor Program that she is most proud of.

CAPTION: Flying Officer Maddison Brassil shares experiences with colleagues at RAAF Base Amberley, as part of the mentoring program. Story by Erin Fomin. Photo by Corporal Jesse Kane.

After graduating from ADFA in 2018, Flying Officer Brassil had the opportunity to put her electrical engineering skills to the test at RAAF Base Amberley, supporting software and hardware upgrade activities for the F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler.

On August 21, she was awarded a Department of Defence Gold Commendation for coordinating an operational evaluation upgrade for the EA-18G Growler.

Growing up in Canberra, Flying Officer Brassil was determined to join the Air Force. However, it wasn’t until she met two of her Year 11 teachers – one who was previously a civil engineer and the other a maths teacher – that she was exposed to the career opportunities available in engineering.

Flying Officer Brassil said her teachers became important mentors and influenced her decision to pursue engineering as a career.

“My teachers helped me find my love for physics and maths. They opened my eyes to options and opportunities I didn’t know were available,” Flying Officer Brassil said.

“I like solving problems. I enjoy maths, and the conceptual side of electrical engineering was well-suited to what I enjoyed doing at school.

“Engineering was identified as a high priority job in the Air Force. I met the criteria and it provided me with the best job opportunities. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

Flying Officer Brassil has been working within the Amberley Engineering Mentor program committee, with a number of colleagues, to ensure training for young engineers continues, despite impacts of the pandemic.

“I personally know the struggle of finding a mentor in early years. You don’t know what you don’t know,” she said.

“Being able to facilitate mentoring for young professionals has helped me bridge a gap in our engineering professional development. Seeing people progress and take a step that they didn’t think they could take is really great to see.”

Flying Officer Brassil has been instrumental in coordinating a recent operational evaluation of the latest upgrade to the Super Hornet and Growler aircraft. This evaluation required her to test and evaluate new software for the aircraft, implementing any Australian-specific requirements and understanding areas for improvement.

These upgrades, which included both hardware and software, ensured the aircraft remain at the leading edge of capability and interoperability with the US Navy.






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