18 June 2024

Florida Simiyu, professional mechanical engineer.

In this six-part series, Zutari commemorates the annual event that celebrates the incredible contributions of women engineers worldwide, International Women in Engineering Day (INWED).

INWED marks its 11th anniversary in 2024 under the theme of #Enhancedbyengineering. This year, INWED celebrates women engineers who have enhanced lives and livelihoods through their work. These remarkable individuals contribute to building a brighter future for all of us.

Florida Simiyu, professional mechanical engineer

Simiyu completed her undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering at the University of Nairobi with first-class honours. She received a scholarship from New Zealand’s foreign aid programme to pursue a master’s in energy, with a focus on geothermal energy. She joined Zutari in 2021 as a mechanical engineer, continuing to build on her diverse experience.

Her role sees her specialising in building services, focusing on designs, specifications, and construction supervision. Some exciting projects she has worked on include the ventilation and air conditioning design and supervision for Olkaria 1 Additional Unit 6 in Naivasha, Kenya, a water sustainability project for the University of Cape Town, and a fire infrastructure upgrade for Diageo, Uganda.

“What I enjoy most about each project is the opportunity to collaborate with diverse teams, including architects, engineers, contractors, and client teams. This teamwork not only enhances the project’s success but also enriches the professional experience,” says Simiyu.

She adds that her career path demonstrates she is unafraid of change or seizing new opportunities, which is how she perceives engineering. “Engineering is about providing solutions to constantly evolving problems. Each project we work on is unique, ensuring that no two projects are ever the same. This means we are continually faced with new challenges and strategies, keeping our minds engaged and active.”

Simiyu says women can contribute significantly to the 2024 INWED theme by showcasing the transformative power of engineering and the vital role that diverse perspectives play in driving progress and innovation. “Engineering is a fun and diverse field, offering countless opportunities to contribute to various practices.”

She encourages young girls to focus on developing their values, confidence, and authenticity, as these traits are key to making a significant impact in the industry. It is important to seek out internships and mentorship opportunities and to remain eager for knowledge while navigating your career path. “Do not be afraid to make bold moves and embrace challenges along the way,” concludes Simiyu.

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