Mechatronics Engineer and Co-owner, Creaholic
One of the reasons College graduate Naomi Bitmead studied engineering at The Australian National University was because she knew the diverse range of career opportunities the degree would give her. She also knew that the well-respected reputation of ANU would enable her degree to be recognised worldwide.
After graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Systems Engineering, she started working at Boeing in Sydney and was part of the System Design Team where she worked on designing the Collins Class submarines.
“It was an excellent team that managed the interface to all the other subsystems and made sure they functioned as a system and not individual modules.
“I definitely think the Systems Engineering program was the reason I was chosen to be part of this team. The broad knowledge base really helped as well as the additional management classes,” she said.
After working at Boeing for five years she moved overseas with her partner – also an alumni from the College – who had secured a job in Switzerland.
She’s now one of the youngest partners and the only female partner at Creaholic, a product design and development company based in Switzerland that was founded in 1986 by one of the Swatch inventors.
“Creaholic focuses on the early stage development of products, so well before R&D. We focus on applied science rather than pure or base research or science.
“We work on a lot of exploratory projects to validate the feasibility before the large investments are made to launch a full internal development project.
“Creaholic has a dynamic mixed team of people who have skills in many different strands of engineering like mechanical, electrical, biomed, materials plus other sciences such as physicists and chemists.
“We also have a number of industrial, interaction & graphic designers and people from business related areas like intellectual property and economics who are employed at Creaholic.”
Creaholic works across a large range of fields such as packaging, food & beverage, diagnostics, automotive, telecommunications and clean tech.
Naomi’s current position has enabled her to work with companies including Nestle, Roche and BMW.
“My very first project in 2000 was on a smartwatch to monitor medical issues! We were working with a South African medtech startup. It was a really interesting time as the standards for Bluetooth were just being developed and launched. Perhaps it was just too early at that stage as the technology was just not quite there 15 years ago.”
She’s also explored new technology for 3D printers, investigated using specific plastics in a solar hot water system to reduce weight and a range of other projects across many industries.
“Engineering really offers so many different paths. Some of my engineering friends are in pure science, some are programmers, some are CEOs, some are working in government policy, some are in consulting, the career path you can take after you complete the program is so broad.
“Having a high quality degree from a high quality institution like The Australian National University is the key to having the best career opportunities. The recognition enables you to work just about anywhere you want to!”