Celebrating the International Women in Engineering Day
Today, the 23rd of June is the International ‘Women in Engineering’ Day. The Women’s Engineering Society created this day in 1919, following the significant numbers of women taking engineering jobs during the First World War and who wished to keep working. The goal of ‘Women in Engineering’ Day is to continue to raise women’s profile in engineering and celebrate the achievements of women engineers throughout the world.
At Sterling Thermal Technology, we are keen to support women within our workplace. Last year we recruited Kate, one of two enthusiastic graduate engineers. She graduated with a 1st Class MEng (Hons) Degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Sheffield. Congratulations Kate! We thought it would be interesting that Kate shares with us her thoughts about engineering. So, we interviewed her.
Sterling TT: “Kate, why did you choose to study engineering?”
Kate: “I have always been interested in maths and sciences, so studying engineering felt like the best path to follow. Even outside of school, I enjoyed finding out about how objects worked and fit together, likewise how what things are made of can change the properties of the object”.
Sterling TT: “That’s amazing! Is this what led you to study Materials Science at the University of Sheffield? Tell us a bit more, please.”
Kate: “Indeed! During my time at university, there were many novel and exciting things to study. I found learning about all the cutting-edge technologies particularly interesting. For example, new materials being used in the medical field. Further to this, exploring how different materials used in the same applications can yield completely different results and to explore the reasons for this was very interesting. One exciting aspect of this was discovering how tiny changes to the chemical composition of an alloy can change the working properties of it drastically; essentially, you can end up with two completely different materials. I also enjoyed learning new skills such as experimental and analytical skills.”
Sterling TT: “Can you use the pieces of knowledge you acquired now within your working environment?”
Kate: “Now that I am working, I am really enjoying seeing how what I learnt at university is applied in real-world situations, such as the different properties of metals being exploited to suit different applications. What is very rewarding about working at Sterling Thermal Technology is seeing something I have helped design be built on the shop floor. I am also learning some different skills compared to my degree, such as how to apply academic learning to a real-life situation.”
Sterling TT: “That’s very positive, is there any challenge you’d like to point out?”
Kate: “One of the main challenges I am facing now that I am working is the difference between the theory and reality. Everything is controlled and perfect in theoretical conditions, whereas this is not possible, and considerations must be made to this effect. This means I must be very aware of tolerances, etc. Further to this, it is very easy to design something on CAD that is impossible to put together, so you must be constantly aware of the practicalities of building something!”
Sterling TT: “Many thanks, Kate, for sharing your passion with us. I am sure young women who will read this interview will find you inspiring.”
Engineering is a fantastic and highly rewarding career for all, whatever your gender, race or background. With this in mind, Sterling TT continues to increase its efforts to attract women into engineering at all levels, from Apprenticeship to Executive levels.