Sarah Corbet, Systems Engineer describes her journey since joining as an Intern

Sarah Corbet
Sarah Corbet

Tell us about you/your background.

I was born in Canada, then moved to Australia when I was five. I always had an aptitude for science and maths, eventually studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Queensland, graduating in 2020. During that time I was able to pursue my passion for space engineering.

Describe your career at Northrop Grumman Australia so far.

As an intern on the KC-30A program – a great start for my engineering journey – I was able to learn about how engineering actually works. I transitioned to a part time role whilst I completed my degree, and went full time once I graduated eventually being offered a permanent position within the Cabin team, where I was able to assist in the maintenance and continuous improvement of the interiors of the KC30A fleet, including the VIP Aircraft 007.

Following a six month placement within the JP9102 team in our Fortitude Valley office in Brisbane, I loved the atmosphere there so much that I took a Systems Engineering role with the JP2008 team. 

What makes Northrop Grumman Australia special?

I believe that the teams that I have worked in have fostered an excellent and supportive working relationship that is unlike anywhere else I have heard. It’s also really exciting that we are one of the foremost companies at the brink of a new age of engineering, moving into the space industry.

What has been the highlight of your career so far at Northrop Grumman Australia?

Something that I will always remember is the coffee canister that I developed while I was an intern. The program had been having an issue with the obsolescence of the coffee machines in the fleet for years, due to disposable coffee canisters that were no longer manufactured. I modelled, printed and tested a reusable coffee canister to be used within the machines, which culminated in a fully machined aluminium prototype!

What does Defining Possible mean to you?

I believe Defining Possible means looking at a problem and coming up with a new and unique strategy, separating yourself from prior solutions. Even if it doesn’t achieve the desired outcome, it’s still a lesson in ingenuity and progress. If we only ever succeed, we never will never truly improve, as well as never learn how to move on from failure.

What do you do in your spare time?

I have lots of hobbies! Main ones are my historical re-enactment, where I get in armour and participate in armed combat on my weekends. I also enjoy expressing my creative side by painting (that’s one of mine in the picture!), general crafting and dying my hair (it has been 10+ different colours over the last three years).

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