Engineering is not just cars and motors and engines. That’s the message Jaimey Clifton wants to share with young women trying to decide their career path. Take it from her – she’s now working to help pregnant women with sleeping issues get more (and safer) rest.
Jaimey grew up on a farm in Rangiwahia (about 45 minutes from Feilding). Now, the small-town woman is working on an Engineering PhD at the University of Canterbury in hopes she will be able to help pregnant women suffering from sleep apnoea.
Sleep apnoea, often associated with snoring, is a dangerous lung condition where a person will unknowingly stop and start breathing in their sleep.
Currently, in New Zealand, there is very minimal data on sleep apneoa in pregnancy. The best data available is a small study in America which revealed that up to 27% of women (by their third trimester) could have sleep apneoa.
So, Jaimey is working hard to, firstly, get some accurate data in New Zealand, then, secondly, find non-invasive solutions (like using an app) to help control this condition.
Jaimey wants to find digital healthcare solutions, so people can use their time more wisely.
“My biggest dream would be to create impactful solutions that can be used to solve real world problems.
“I want to work with others to help others, particularly in the respiratory field, where I want to contribute by developing tools that help with the increasing workload of clinicians.”
Jaimey’s decision to study engineering came from her love of problem solving in a creative way, she says.
“I thought, growing up, that engineering was just cars and motors and engines, but it’s actually a lot more about creativity and problem-solving.”
Jaimey hopes to encourage other women to follow their passion and not fear trying something new.
“It did take a bit for me to think ‘Oh, I could do engineering’, so don’t give up and give it a go."
OSA is estimated to affect 3−5% of children, and is one of the most common respiratory disorders of childhood. At least 4% of adult males and 2% of adult females experience OSA too. Find out more about this often-undiagnosed condition.
Ella Guy hopes to develop a device to record respiratory data to ensure access to adequate healthcare for all Kiwis.