Rosemary Barnes is a Wind Engineer, designing more efficient Turbine blades.
Rosemary went to school in Canberra and studied Advanced Maths, Physics and Chemistry.
I was really into bikes and sewing in high school, and these both helped me develop really useful skills for engineering
Rosemary says the creativity is also very important for a design engineer, so any creative hobbies like art, reading or music are helpful.
Do as much maths and physics as you can, plus gain as much hands on experience as you can outside of school.
I am very concerned about climate change and with my background in composite materials and aerodynamics I felt that wind energy was a great way I could contribute to practical solutions.
University and first job
Rosemary did a Bachelor of Arts with a philosophy major and a Bachelor of Systems Engineering (honours), with a materials and mechanical systems major.
I use a lot of computer simulations to estimate performance and structural safety before manufacturing something. This saves a lot of time and expense, because you can find out early which ideas won’t work.
After 6 years of work experience Rosemary went back to university and got a PhD in Mechanical Engineering (composite materials design and analysis).
What’s exciting about the Wind Energy Industry?
“There are so many interesting projects happening in Wind Power, I learn a lot just by looking around at what’s going on in the workshop, or chatting to colleagues at lunch. I also do quite a lot of travelling all over the world to manufacturing facilities, site visits and conferences which I like”
I try to stay as open minded about the future as possible, so I can grab interesting opportunities as they come up.
Rosemary’s current job
Wind turbines in cold climates can get a lot of ice build-up on the blades, and when that happens they have to be temporarily shut down. I am in charge of designing a system to heat the blades and keep them ice-free.
I can have an idea one day and be testing it out by the end of the week.
Large scale manufacturing means very rigid deadlines, which can be extremely challenging for new technology projects.
A customer requested a technology from us that didn’t yet exist, that they wanted available within a very short time. Together with my team I was able to design a new concept and demonstrate its feasibility, all within a few months.
Rosemary also works on an international team, with colleagues and clients all over Europe, plus America and India, so we collaborate a lot online.