Mechanical Engineer

Carolina Villarreal


– Show them that engineering is fun, exciting, and not really as hard as many seem to think. And that choosing engineering will be worth it, because of the amount of job opportunities you’ll get.

– More girls should choose engineering

Carolina Villarreal designs and tests robots at AutoStore, the only woman to do so. Her advice to young women is: become an engineer. – It’s very engaging, and the job market is great!

Villarreal moved from Mexico to Norway to complete her Master’s degree in Product and System Design. In 2020 she landed a job as a Mechanical Engineer at AutoStore, where at the moment she’s the only woman in the robot mechanical team.

– At least for now. Hopefully, more women will join, because the work is really interesting and fun, says Villarreal.

At AutoStore, Villarreal designs and tests robots, following them from concept design to finished product.

– The possibility to create anything you imagine is just amazing. You can use different designs, materials or mechanisms and find the best solution to a problem. Being able to optimize the design considering function and cost efficiency, while increasing quality and manufacturability, is fascinating.

– Many think it’s too complicated

She lists several reasons why more women should become engineers.

– All the possibilities. You can work on so many different products, in so many different fields. You can contribute to find the best solutions, and use creativity to solve important problems for the future, even improve the quality of life of the product users. These are the reasons why I chose this direction myself, says Villarreal.

– Only about 25 percent of engineers in Norway are women. Why do you think that is?

– I think many people consider engineering to be very hard and complicated, and a bit of a man’s line of work. Particularly when it involves machines and hands-on, practical work. But that’s just not correct – this is for everyone, and there’s absolutely no reason why women couldn’t do this job as well as men.

– Different perspectives are important

Villarreal remains convinced that we need more women in engineering.

– We have different ways of thinking, and male engineers focus on slightly different things than women. Both focuses are important, but so is having different perspectives on a problem. It’s always a big plus having a team of both men and women, who then contribute with their different perspectives.

– Not as hard as you’d think

As for how to get more women into engineering, Villarreal mentions more information in schools, as well as field trips to relevant companies to get inspired.

– Show them that engineering is fun, fascinating, and not really as hard as many seem to think. And that choosing engineering will be worth it, because of the wealth of job opportunities you’ll get.

Villarreal herself is delighted with landing her job at AutoStore, and enjoys her work, the work environment and the location.

– Imagine working on something this exciting, surrounded by this stunning view, she says, pointing to the steep mountains of Vats, as they rise from the fjord.


Name: Carolina Villarreal

Profession: Mechanical Engineer

Background: Master in Product and System Design, NTNU