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Emma Haynes

Technical Lead Engineer
I’m the team leader, providing direction and decisions on all the engineering tasks for the ground station: programming, hardware, electrical, you name it.
Aviation, Defence, Manufacturing
Job Level
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About me

  • International Experience
  • Regional Background

While at school I was heavily into the Performing Arts. Playing multiple instruments to an advanced level, I also did a lot of dance and circus. 

My school subjects were Music, German, Maths A, English, Biology and Physics. 

I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school, so I tried studying psychology through an arts degree (which only lasted 6 months). After looking through a QTAC pamphlet, I stumbled across a degree called Mechatronic Engineering. Enrolling into engineering went against all common sense (engineers need to be good at maths, and I was not). After two semesters of epic failure leading to an academic warning, I was caught in a conflicting position (enjoying the subjects but doing poorly on the grades). I had some difficult choices to make - drop out of uni or learn how to focus and study. After much effort and a few small setbacks, I graduated uni in 2014 with Honours (good grades) and a Graduate Engineering job at Boeing Defence Australia.

Over my time at Boeing (2015 to current), I have worked on two projects, with the opportunity to move around within the project to gain exposure. My first project was Currawong, a new communications system for the Australian Military. Over this I worked in both the Field Hardware team and the Mission System Software Development team. On my current project, I have worked in both the Mission System team and the Ground Station Team. I am now the Technical Lead Engineer of the Ground Station.

About my role

  • Creative
  • Independent
  • Meticulous
  • Observant
  • Understanding

This job designs, develops, integrates, and then verifies a ground-based cockpit. A ground station is an aeroplane cockpit that is on the ground, for autonomous aircraft.

Firstly, the customer provides “engineering requirements” which is their way of saying what they want/need the product to be.

The Techinical Lead Engineer then takes the requirements and comes up with a design. The design needs to cover everything, including: aesthetics, hardware, electrical, and software.

Then, the Engineer and thier team start building the design. They learn along the way and make changes to the original design as they go.

When all the different bits of design start to get put together, the integration starts. This is where they have to make sure all the pieces of the puzzle fit together…it doesn’t matter how good one aspect is if it can’t work with the other bits of the product. And then finally, the product is verified. This is the test to see if the final product does everything the customer asked for in the beginning.

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  • Bachelor of Engineering with an Extended Major in Mechatronics


  • Wirraway Award - Boeing International (internal)


  • Cooking
  • Horse riding
  • Seeing family and friends

15 year old me!!

“This is for those of us whom come from different or unusual pathways… I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. ”

My career journey

Curious to know how I got here? Here’s a snapshot of my career pathway.
  1. Had no idea what I wanted to do after school (was actually really bad at math)
  2. Studied psychology for 6 months in uni
  3. In the spur of the moment thought I’d try studying engineering
  4. Failed epically at first. Tried (really hard) again
  5. Graduated in 2014 and am now a Technical Lead Engineer

My employer

Boeing's presence in Australia is the company’s largest footprint outside the United States, with more than 3,000 employees in 38 locations. Boeing has the broadest portfolio in Australian aerospace, with its employees and supply chain supporting an extensive suite of aircraft manufacturing.