How did you become interested in engineering?
I wanted to study Medicine medicine initially, however, one of my friends told me about the Chemical & Pharmaceutical Engineering Degree that the University of Leeds offered. When I looked into the programme further, I was really interested as it combined my passion for Science science and Mathsmaths. I had also worked in a pharmacy in the past, and I was intrigued that the pharmaceutical side of the degree would focus on the development of drugs before they reach the shelf of a pharmacy.
What excites you about engineering?
I love engineering because I really enjoy problem solving and every day is different. I get a real sense of accomplishment from solving problems that in some form or way touch people’s everyday lives. Engineering is great because it requires working individually but also as a team, and everyone is aiming for the same goals!
What have you seen change for women in engineering throughout your career?
There has been great development for women in engineering. When I started my degree, I was one of very few girls on my course. However, as I progressed to my fourth and final year, the number of girls studying engineering had increased massively and this was great to see. I believe that women are being given bigger opportunities and responsibilities more often nowadays, and this is particularly true for IPS. I started IPS with a lot of manufacturing experience but no design experience, yet I have been given such a high level of responsibility on projects and this has helped me develop into a much better process engineer.
What is the most fascinating part of your job or daily routine?
he most fascinating part of my job is learning something new every day! I can’t say a single day goes by where I don’t learn anything new. There have been so many times where I have looked at a problem or task and thought I wouldn’t be able to complete it, but I surprise myself every time. This has really improved my self-esteem and confidence. I love working with other disciplines and find it so interesting how everyone’s individual work comes together to design facilities.
Did you have any mentors as you were going through your career? How did they influence your decisions?
I have had mentors throughout my career, many have been females promoting women in engineering and really supporting my career progression. My mentors have helped me to develop as an individual both inside and outside of work. They are great at being able to identify weaknesses that I have, and telling me what I need to do to develop these weaknesses into strengths. Mentors are also great at helping me develop as an engineer, and in particular working towards my IChemE chartership.
How do you support your fellow women engineers?
I support my fellow women engineers by being there for them when they need someone to talk to. When women join the company, I act as a friend and reassure them that they can ask me any question, even simple questions like locating a file on the shared drive. I want to be able to help them to transition into their new role with ease. I try to be the person that I would have wanted to speak to when I joined a new company.
What advice would you like to share with future women engineers?
My advice to future women engineers is to be confident, ask lots of questions throughout your career as this will help your development, and keep on striving to reach your goals!