Christine Chen

Global Solutions and Delivery Manager

Thinxtra

Christine is the Global Solutions & Delivery Manager at Thinxtra. She manages the Technical management and systems engineering management of Thinxtra’s complex projects & bespoke products, as well as the flagship product range, the X-range, a range of trackers that are flexible, long battery-life, platform-agnostic, and cost-effective. Christine also leads the pre-sales, sales, commercial and delivery activities for Thinxtra’s global markets, working with customers from all over the world to deliver Thinxtra’s Sigfox IoT solutions.

How long have you been a member of Engineers Australia?
Since 2013.

Why did you pursue a career in engineering?
I preferred maths and physics when I was in high school. And I wanted a career that was flexible, interesting, and can potentially change the world. Also, when I was a teenager, I wanted to prove that girls can do it just as well as boys because everyone kept saying we couldn’t. Engineering seemed to be able to achieve all of that.

How can Australian communities/people/society benefit from your work now and in the future?
I work in IoT (Internet of Things), where we are aiming to bring billions of things to life by connecting them to the internet so they can talk to each other, and work together. This opens up opportunities to achieve businesses efficiencies and improve lives. An example is IoT is currently being used to track endangered rhinos in Africa, helping conservationists protect rhinos.

What is the most challenging or interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
Different projects have different challenges. At the moment, the biggest challenge for me is the speed of adoption for IoT. Because IoT is a new technology, it takes time for businesses to understand its potential and be willing to take on the risks of a new technology, that time often leads to further operational waste or competitors getting ahead.

What do you see as one of the biggest issues facing the engineering profession?
Diversity, and the lack of universal regulation, and protection for the title “Engineer”.

What excites you about the future of the profession or what opportunities do you see for the future?
I’m excited to see a future where different technologies integrate with each other and collaborate together. Imagine a future where AI, Data, IoT, Crypto, IT and Software are no longer different engineering disciplines, but working together to improve healthcare, transportation, banking, and other different aspects of our day-to-day lives. That future will inevitably happen; it’s just a matter of time. Every time I think about that future, my heart leaps.

Christine Chen

I also remain optimistic about diversity in engineering. I believe it will continue to improve, and the people who use technology, i.e, the general public, are the ultimate beneficiaries of diversity in engineering.

Who is your engineering hero?
I don’t have a single hero that I look up to. I tend to learn from and look up to the people around me and from examples I see – my colleagues, my family, my friends, an entrepreneur, a business person, a politician, a doctor, an author, a philanthropist, and so on. There are shining examples everywhere.

Image Source: Courtesy of Christine Chen