Lead Contracts Coordinator Jessie Jakins, Calibrations Coordinator Hannah Johnson and Director Elena Short
Elena Short is one of the country’s few women who is not only an electrical and instrument (E&I) technician but also an electrical engineer.
On top of that, she is also a successful
small business owner, having established an engineering company with her
husband, Jamie, in the Queensland town of Chinchilla.
They both worked as E&I technicians in
a variety of industries across Australia before settling in Chinchilla. It was
here they recognised the potential to service a previously unfulfilled gap in
the engineering market within the resource sector.
RiE was formed, and the team of two with
offices in their living room has expanded to over 140 employees, largely thanks
to their work in the natural gas industry.
The company has developed a service model which
reduces the whole of life cycle cost for major clients in the gas, energy and
“We ran the business from our house for the
first five years, even holding meetings with QGC in our lounge room,” said
Jamie said their passion for the trade and
getting things done properly is what grew their reputation and got them from
their first sub-contract at Kogan Creek Power Station, to working with a
variety of resource companies today.
“Without the resource sector the business
would not have had the opportunities it has had,” Jamie said.
“We have built a strong team, and our staff
turnover is one of the lowest in the industry,” said Elena.
“We are committed to ensuring our staff are
the best in the industry, and this backed by a commitment to safety, ongoing
training and innovation.”
Elena grew up helping her father work in
mechanics and with an interest in fixing things, was encouraged by her three
older brothers, to apply for an apprenticeship as an E&I technician at the
Malanda Milk Factory in Far North Queensland.
“I was the only female in my trade at TAFE,
and one of only two women enrolled in the Electrical Engineering Degree at
USQ.” Elena said.
“It is great to see more women exploring
opportunities in the resource sector,” Elena said. “I believe the resource
sector is stable in the region, with growth potential in the next fifteen to
“I’m passionate about showing young kids
they don’t need to move away and that there are opportunities to get in and get
trained by a lot of companies in the area,” Elena said.