India, Graduate Engineer

How long have you worked at AWE?
8 months

Why did you choose AWE? – what attracted you?
As a teenager I attended cadets for 5 years where my interest in defence started. I then studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Liverpool and knew I wanted to work in the engineering defence sector upon graduating. Working at AWE is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on unique projects and products that no other company in the world does.

Tell us about your time at AWE? – What do you do?
As an Evolve graduate I get to move around the business doing placements in different areas of the company. Since starting I have done placements with Nuclear Threat Reduction (NTR) and supply chain. In my current placement I work as a manufacturing engineer and will be moving to my next placement in Design Engineering in July. My day to day involves leading a project where I am developing new tooling, processes, and solutions as I take my project through the manufacturing system stage gates.

What’s the best thing about working in the Engineering industry?
Working in engineering is always interesting as there is a constant need for new innovative solutions and ideas. I have particularly enjoyed seeing the massive amounts of work that is going into delivering this mission. The teams here are AWE are great – they work through immense challenges together and collaborate very well.

What made you decide to opt for a career in Engineering?          
I have been enthusiastic about being an engineer since I was a child when my little sister was in a cycling accident. The doctor explained to me that the crumple zones in her helmet were engineered to absorb the force of impact and had saved her life. At 14 I attended a careers lecture at school where a F1 engineer explained that engineering combines maths, physics, and design (all the subjects I loved!) and that the industry desperately need women. It was a no brainer to go to university to become an engineer.

Who inspired you to have a career in Engineering?
My granddad was an Engineer in the Army, and I loved listening to his stories of working on tanks. That is where my aspiration of a career in engineering began.

How do you see your career progressing?
In 5 years, I would love to have increased my general engineering knowledge as well as company specific skills and product understanding. I would love to develop my managerial skills and one day lead a team.

Why are events such as INWED so important?
INWED is crucial to show future female engineers the opportunities available in the industry. Women should not be intimidated by a male dominated industry but should embrace it – they may look at things differently and offer different insight to their male colleagues.

What can we do to encourage more females into Engineering? 
STEM stereotypes are developed from a young age, the modern world of social media does not widely advocate for Women in STEM and there are not well-known female STEM role models. I believe encouraging women into engineering should start from an early age, so I work with Women in Nuclear, STEM Ambassadors and the AWE Gender Balance working Group to go into schools and talk about our careers and AWE. I was the only girl from my 200person year group at school to pursue engineering and it is so inspiring to talk to girls of a young age who are passionate about a career in engineering.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in Engineering?
Engineering is an interesting and constantly changing industry. There are always exciting projects to be a part of and lovely teams to join. If you want to make a difference and solve real world problems – engineering is the job to do that.