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Working as a fitter and turner at the Queensland Brain Institute, Emma Scott’s work supports a team of specialists focusing on ground-breaking research that has the potential to make a world-wide impact.

Her skills in machining, CAD design, acrylic/timber fabrication, 3D printing and prototyping, casting and moulding now support researchers working on significant medical breakthroughs for multiple disease models of the brain, including Alzheimer’s.

Emma completed her trade training at TAFE Queensland completing a Certificate III in Engineering (Fitting and Turning)(MEM30205) and is now furthering her studies through a Certificate IV in Engineering (MEM40105).

“Fitting and turning is the perfect trade for me. I enjoy the challenge of designing and creating new components and equipment for very specific uses. I thrive when it comes to accuracy and detail which is very important in this trade,” said Emma.

“It’s very exciting that projects I’ve worked on have had some significant breakthroughs. It’s really good to be a part of those projects and see the results."

In many instances Emma handles every facet of a new project from initial discussions with academic staff, to developing a basic design concept, completing the complex 3D design for approval, the selection of appropriate manufacturing methods and materials, and finally the physical manufacturing and hand over.

Emma’s personal and professional confidence has grown throughout her training as she learnt about the industry and gained knowledge and skills in her trade. Emma’s Manager at the Queensland Brain Institute, John Steptoe, said that Emma came to them as a MIGAS apprentice and it’s worked out to be the best thing for the workshop.

“I can give Emma a task and know that task is going to be completed to perfection. Our industry requires the finest detail, and everything has to be perfect,” Mr Steptoe said.

“Emma’s ability to fault find and think outside the box means she has been able to produce some incredibly complex work that could put to shame a tradesperson with 20 years’ experience,” he said.

With fitting and turning being predominately a male-dominated industry, Emma has managed to overcome any challenges this may’ve presented. She believes she has an important role to play being a female in the trade, bringing a different perspective and forcing outdated cultures to change for the better.

Emma’s talent and passion for her trade has resulted in a number of accolades which include being awarded the MIGAS Rising Star Apprentice of the Year Award and the TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech Engineering Apprentice of the Year in 2020. In 2021 she was also nominated for the Queensland Training Award’s Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year Award.


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