Civil Engineer

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Company:  Aecom

Role:  Graduate Civil Engineer (Infrastructure Sector)

Previous employment: CH2M HILL

Hi my name is Jessica and I graduated from Swansea University with an MEng in Civil Engineering. I have been working in the engineering industry for almost 2 years and have had a range of exposure to projects and different types of work too. I have come to learn so many new skills, and have developed a diverse outlook on problem solving and implementing solutions.

I decided to pursue engineering as a career because I wanted to be able to look at a bridge or building and say ‘I was part of that’. The thought of being able to transform a drawing into a real life structure is just crazy. As an engineer you are able to contribute to the design and construction of a hospital where people can be treated, or schools where children have somewhere to be educated; that’s what an individual can offer in the engineering industry.

I firmly believe that the engineering industry is for anyone and has so much to offer for anyone’s career path and personal development. I personally feel it is very important for girls to not be afraid of the word ‘engineering’, because girls can bring diversity to the industry.

Civil Engineer

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Role: Graduate Project Manager at Artelia

I completed a French scientific baccalaureate specialised in Maths with the idea to do a degree in Architecture. Realising the length of architectural studies and the limited choice I would have if I changed my mind after a few years, I switched to engineering.

I studied Civil Engineering so that I could still be working closely with Architects whilst having the liberty of moving industries if I so chose; as engineering is broad and generally gives you transferable skills welcomed in many other fields.

I was never aware of how few women studied engineering or were in the industry until the first week of university when I found myself in my pink wellies and pink calculator amongst a dire 3% of my female counterparts in a lecture theatre. During my time at university I was a civil engineering and Bloodhound ambassador, and always reserved a minute at the end of my presentations to stress what engineering is and that it is accessible to both genders.

Currently I am working at Artelia as a Graduate Project Manager. My role within the Shell Team consists of visiting petrol stations under construction and ensuring all health and safety regulations are observed, that the project is going according to the programme and providing solutions whenever there is a problem that arises at various stages of the construction process. I also have commercial management duties such as performing budget estimates and reallocation in different stages of the project, reviewing and negotiating quotes and liaising with the PM and the contractors amongst other tasks. My next project consists of commercially controlling the refurbishment of more than 20 Shell shop refurbishments across the UK with project management duties for a part of them.

Civil Engineer

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Company: Skanska

Hi my name is Christina Kio.  During my A-levels, I chose to study Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. I chose numerical subjects because I liked having only 1 correct answer. I then went onto study BEng and MSc Civil Engineering at Swansea University. 

I got a job as a Graduate Design Engineer at Skanska in Pencoed, here I have had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects during my time here, from sewage treatment works to highway foundations. I have worked here for over 2 years and have been supported to being a STEM ambassador.  I am currently on secondment to Crossrail’s Paddington station, where my role is a site engineer. Here I am part of the base slab construction team which is overseeing the construction of the platforms and tracks. 

As a female in the construction industry, I feel I received more negativity before I joined the industry than being in the industry. My hope for the future females in engineering is that when a 14 year old girl announce that she wants to become an engineer, no one says it’s a male dominated subject, but supports her in anyway possible. 

Although I decided to become an engineer at the age of 9, I became unsure of my university subject choice at 17, so was encouraged by my maths tutor to attend a Girls in Engineering taster workshop in Queen Mary University. I loved every minute of it and returned home certain that I was to become an Engineer. 

Last year I organised a STEM event attended by over forty 14-15 years old pupils in South Wales. This event was to show pupils the wide variety of engineering disciplines available. From the pupils’ feedback and endless curiosity questions, the event was a success and due to be repeated this year. This event had only 2 female pupils were, so I will be including a minimum female criteria for the next set of invitations.

Chemical Engineer

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Dr. Shirley Echendu is currently a research associate in the College of Engineering at Swansea University where she has been an active faculty member since 2009.

Her interest in Engineering initially arose from her strong desire for maths, physics and chemistry, which she developed in High School during workshops that enacted hands on technology. In High School at year 7, she was awarded best introductory technology student of the year 1997. She chose to study her undergraduate BEng (Hons) degree in Chemical and Process Engineering at London Southbank University. This was completed in 2009, after which she was awarded a PhD EPSRC-CASE Scholarship at Swansea University. She then successfully graduated with her doctoral degree in industrial modelling of reverse roller coating processes in 2013. She was born in Enugu, Nigeria in 1988, making her the youngest ever PhD holder in Eastern Nigeria.

As a PhD researcher, Dr. Echendu has worked with the rheology team in Swansea, which has strong links with industrial partners of TATA Steel, Procter and Gamble, GE-Wellstream, Sun Chemical and NHS. This predictive modelling work has been directed towards analysing rheological effects of coating flows during process application.

Her principal research interests lie in the area of computational rheology and computational meteorology, ranging from theory to design and implementation, with a strong focus on comprehensive understanding of the background computational fluid mechanics. Over the last year or so, Dr. Echendu has focused on providing new research outputs in High Performance Computing, a fresh field for her, generating service and support for MetUM Users on HPC Wales infrastructure. She has worked actively with researchers in the field at Reading University and other industries (Fujitsu).  Dr. Echendu is an associate member of ICHEME.

Dr. Echendu has a strong desire to succeed in her chosen career path, both technically and managerially. Dr. Echendu is a single mother, living in Swansea with her primary school aged son. Dr. Echendu has worked as a teaching assistant for Engineering undergraduate students at Swansea University (2009-2013), where she has lead and supervised students across various modules.

Materials Engineer

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Technical Manager, Through Process Optimisation 
Tata Steel, Strip Products UK

I have been driven, from a young age, by a desire to understand how things work. My favourite childhood TV programme was Playschool, not for the stories that were told, but because when we went through the square, round or arched window there was a factory on the other side, making stuff. So, maybe it's no surprise that I chose Engineering (specifically Materials Engineering) when I went to study at Swansea University in 1993. An EngD in Steel Technology followed, which then naturally led to a career in Tata Steel (British Steel as it was at the time).

I now work as a Senior Manager in the Tata Steel organisation, focussing on Technical and Quality issues, but have also had roles in Customer Support, Product Development, Supply Chain and Operations. Working in the Steel Industry has it's challenges, but it's difficult not to be excited by the sheer scale of the operations, from 300t ladles of molten steel to 24 wagon trains carrying steel coils destined for all parts of the UK and Europe. If you're looking for big stuff, the Steel Industry is a great place to be. How does a woman fare in this environment?

Well of course, it depends on the woman. Within Tata Steel, there are women working at all levels of the organisation and in all areas of the business. Women bring a different set of skills to business that are now being recognised and promoted in many Industries, including steel and there has never been a better time for high calibre women from STEMM backgrounds to make an impact in the so called male dominated environments.

PhD student

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I use the Non-equilibrium Green's function (NEGF) formalism to simulate electron transport in nanostructures with non-local self-energies.

PhD student

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Self-consistent tunnelling spectroscopy modelling in a finite element device simulator on III-V semiconductor materials using a complex arbitrary tip shapes. Modelling of the nanocontact size dependent effect for ZnO nanowires.