Thought Leadership

DEW Journal’s – The Women Force!

By Nick Finberg

DEW Journal has published their January 2021 issue, promoting the excellence of women workers in energy and engineering domains in their series – The Women Force! This year’s celebration promotes nine women from the oil & gas industry, the engineering industry and academia, but one of the honorees is part of the Siemens Digital Industries Software family. Congratulations to Nelia Mazula! With a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Nelia started her career as a process engineer for the Mozambican National Oil Company, eventually becoming a strategic consultant. Before joining Siemens, she also worked as an independent entrepreneur and inventor.

This is not her first award in engineering either, Nelia has received five awards for her patents from the Society of Women Engineers on her work around 3D visualization processing. The specifics of the patents involved laser scanning, computer aided design and augmented reality. But Nelia sees her recognition not solely for herself, but as an opportunity to empower other women in the field:

“I am a strong advocate of diversity in an industry that is only 15 percent women and in which women are passed over for promotions and underrepresented in leadership roles. I am active in organization and efforts to make sure that the environment is balanced and the playing field is level for women. You cannot sit on the bench and complain without doing anything to ameliorate the situation, even if it’s in a small capacity. Others have opened up doors for me, and I want to be that person for other people”

This started with Nelia’s first job in the Mozambican National Oil Company. With such a new project for the region, her role as the commissioning engineer afforded the opportunity to work with influential leaders of the industry. One of them being Esperanca Bias, Mozambique’s minister of natural resources, who took Nelia under her wing as a mentee. Esperanca was ahead of her time, working very hard to make sure there was representation of women in the industry. Her attitude and the respect she was given made a huge difference in Nelia’s view of how a woman could contribute to the industry as a whole, even if the demographics didn’t represent our diverse society.

Another pillar of Nelia’s career has been the journey of digitalization for the oil and gas industry. She has worked with companies to deliver solutions at nearly every level of digitalization from adopting digital engineering to complete virtual commissioning of plants through her work at Walkinside on virtual plant representation.

“It was exciting to develop software for oil and gas at a time when some companies were still using pencils to do engineering, and we were able to offer a digital alternative, but it was a tough sale in this slower-moving industry.”

Siemens Software is proud to have such an amazing engineer in our company, fighting the good fight. Not only in digitalizing the industrial world, but for creating a diverse working environment and proving to our next generation of engineers that everyone is welcome when we are providing innovation to the world. Congratulations Nelia!

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at