Woman Engineer in PNG Stamps her Mark in the Electricity Industry

Vera Lama Makara is one of the first national female electrical power engineers at PNG Power Ltd.

In her new role as the General Manager Asset Management, Vera leads a group of female managers with the strong support of male colleagues as the new line of strong-willed Papua New Guineans willing and working hard behind the scenes to improve and change electricity industry in the country.

From the Aroma Coast of Central Province, Vera’s conviction to study electrical engineering in power came from the inspiration of Ms. Finkewe Zurecnuoc, the first female Papua New Guinean electrical power engineer.

Vera, the lone female in the power stream with nine male students in 1997 at the University of Technology in Lae, says that at that time, most of her female colleagues opted to streamline into undertaking telecommunications.

“The job demand for telecommunications was high during those days. Everyone streamlined to telecommunications as there was a guaranteed job waiting but I chose to stick with the power strand,” she recalled.

During her university years, Vera had developed more passion and energy for electrical training. The ‘Zurecnuoc’ effect on the Papuan lass and the commitment and determination to be the best in her stream resulted in her being the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award at the 2000 UNITECH Graduation. 

“I am always determined to achieve what I set out to do and everytime I always ensure it’s done and set the bar high,” she said.

Vera has built a strong reputation of working alongside different professionals and management teams which has given her exposure and experience in making informed decisions as a leader.

One of her main aims in her career path is to train and mentor more women to move into management positions. Vera encourages all women and everyone in general to build and foster professional relations with people of all walks of life and ensure good professional practice within their field of work.

“Spend time to research. There is no limit to education. Equip yourself with knowledge as everything starts off from within you as an individual,” she said.

The 45-year old Power Engineer is always determined to set benchmarks. Recently, she was awarded the USAID Excellency Award, recognizing her work in the

energy sector.

Today, Vera is leading a team of four female engineers in PNG Power to develop the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). It is a software that will manage the maintenance activities of the company and will support the maintenance personnel by helping to develop a database relevant to maintenance activities. 

The project, if completed, and successful will be one of those achievements for the female engineers.

In all of this, the leadership experiences, skills and competencies gained over the years has put Vera to where she is today.

Vera is encouraging more ladies in the electricity industry to keep focused, be determined and to work with passion and believe that you can make a difference in the industry.

By PNG Power

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