IN PROFILE: Christina Hayes
Christina Hayes, Civil Engineer – Transport, GHD
What are your typical daily work activities at GHD?
My typical tasks involve pavement condition inspections and assessments, airport site selection studies, master planning, and pavement design and maintenance for major airports in Australia.
How did you get your start in the airport industry?
Although my engineering degree majored in both transport and structural engineering, I was keen to apply myself within the transportation sector due to the wide range of opportunities that could come about in this role. When I started at GHD I was placed within the aviation team and, almost two years later, I can say it has been one of the most rewarding roles thus far.
What are your career goals?
For the next five or so years, I see myself continuing to build upon my knowledge of flexible and rigid pavement design, airport master planning, asset management, geometric design and pavement maintenance. I am particularly interested in learning more about the operational requirements at airports, particularly during construction in live airfield environments. Position wise, my next goal is to obtain my CPEng to become a chartered engineer.
What or who has helped your career?
I could list many people who have supported me in my career, from my parents, to several inspiring university lecturers, to colleagues and semi ‘mentors’ in my workplace and industry. All of them played a huge part in where I am now.
What three words would you use to describe this industry?
Competitive, rewarding and unconventional.
What challenges do you face in your role?
One of the main challenges is how digital technology is changing and shaping the aviation industry, and how to leverage this technology whilst still adhering to CASA standards. For example, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (i.e. drones) are in use at some airports for pavement inspections or terminal buildings.
What does the future hold for young women in airports?
I see the aviation industry reaching out to high schools and universities more to maximise our ability to encourage and raise awareness for young women (and men) to consider a future career within aviation. We’ll always need airports and the aviation industry does not show any signs of slowing down in growth, so I see a multitude of opportunities for young women in airports.
This article was written for the Australian Airport Association’s Women in Airports Network – an online community to support the advancement of women across all aspects of airport operations.