As an avid aviation lover who is learning to fly, the Australian F-35A Project is the perfect place for Namita Jose to pursue her passion for aerospace engineering.

Ms Jose is an air vehicle systems engineer in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Branch’s Mission Systems directorate, helping to bring Air Force’s F-35A jets into service in Australia.

“The F-35A features a range of cutting-edge technologies,” Ms Jose said. “It is a rare opportunity to be involved in something that, as an engineer, you don’t get to experience too often. It’s pretty exciting bringing each of Air Force’s fifth-generation fighter aircraft into service.”

Ms Jose's main responsibility is to support the successful achievement towards Australian acceptance of F-35A aircraft and the F135 engine propulsion system.

“My role involves a significant level of stakeholder engagement and liaison, both internally within my workplace and externally with diverse groups of people,” she said.

“I ensure that all stakeholders are kept informed on key issues and activities, as well as conduct technical reviews to support the airworthiness certification of the aircraft.”

No two days are the same for Ms Jose.

“Priorities change every day,” she said. “My job typically includes meeting with stakeholders, briefing the executive team, keeping track of the aircraft production schedule, assisting with fact-checking, conducting risk-management activities and reviewing technical documents.”

Ms Jose grew up in Kerala, a south-western coastal state in India, and moved to Canberra in 2009 at the age of 15. She completed Year 11 and 12 at St Clare’s College in Griffith and studied a Bachelor of Systems Engineering at the Australian National University, graduating in 2015 with first-class honours.

“I majored in renewable energy systems and mechanical and material systems. I did my first work experience as a photovoltaic system designer at a local company,” she said.

“In my third year, I did my engineering internship at the Royal Australian Mint and then continued to work there as a research and development engineer on a part-time basis during my final year of study.

“I was also a founding member of ANU’s World Solar Challenge extra-curricular program, where teams design, build and race a solar-powered vehicle across more than 3000km of desert from Darwin to Adelaide.”

Ms Jose began her career with Defence in 2016 as part of Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group’s graduate program.

“My first rotation was with a Navy acquisition project procuring a maritime rapid environmental assessment capability,” she said.

“I then went on to do an industry secondment with Boeing Defence Australia, working on the sustainment of the F/A-18 Classic Hornets. For my last rotation I worked on the sustainment of the E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.”

This experience prepared Ms Jose well for her work in JSF Branch.

“I learned that, as an engineer, one of the most important skills is verbal and written communication,” she said. “It is crucial for growing your career and helps to complete tasks faster and more efficiently.”

Ms Jose plans to remain working on the Australian F-35A Project for the foreseeable future.

“It’s a great project on which to work and having a great team makes a huge difference,” she said. “I am always inspired by the work of my colleagues and their diverse experiences. I receive numerous opportunities for professional and personal development and am hoping to relocate to Newcastle in the future to work with the F-35A aircraft at RAAF Base Williamtown.”