Based in Glasgow, I have been with Amec Foster Wheeler for over nine years and have spent time with the company in Reading, UK and Singapore.
There is a lot of variety in my role which I enjoy, especially being a lead engineer, as it requires a great deal of interaction with people including clients, team members and other disciplines, whilst still being involved in all technical aspects. I enjoy finding solutions to difficult problems.
A career in engineering appealed to me from an early age, as I enjoyed problem solving and was good at sciences in school from an early age. I had plenty of encouragement from my father who worked in the engineering sector and also my maths teacher, who suggested chemical engineering to me.
Engineering is often talked about as being ‘hands-on’; it rarely is in this day and age. In reality, engineering is often office based, requires people skills, computer literacy and problem solving ability, with the chance to move into management within a technical industry. These are all attributes that appeal to females and males equally. We need to make engineering appealing, to let it be seen as a high end, challenging career with a good salary, in the same way people view doctors, lawyers and architects etc.
As I was encouraged at school, more students need to be introduced to engineering at an early age. We must continue to support interactions between industry and schools along with activities such as work experience, 'daughters’ day at work' schemes, STEM visits from industry professionals and attendance at careers fairs to help introduce exciting career opportunities to a young audience considering their futures. More engineers, and more kinds of engineers, are needed to address the challenges facing the 21st century.