Celebrating women in engineering

23rd June 2021 Posted by

Today is International Women in Engineering Day and we are celebrating the incredible work that women engineers across the globe are doing to support lives and livelihoods.

We caught up with some of our own engineers to hear about the great work they are doing and asked them, why did they choose engineering – here’s what they had to say.

Molly Bell , Technical Plant Engineer

“When it came to choosing what to study at university, I was really struggling to decide as I didn’t have any specific plans career wise. It was by chance that I was offered a tour of SUEZ site STV1-3 where I had a chat with the plant manager who was a chartered chemical engineer. He shared his career experiences with me, and it soon became clear that a degree in chemical engineering was versatile and highly sought after. I ended up studying at Newcastle University and joining SUEZ recycling and recovery UK as a graduate engineer following two internships where I got my first proper taste of energy from waste. Shortly after finishing my graduate scheme I became TPE at the place where it all began.STV1-3!

I’m yet to come across an engineer who hasn’t inspired someone in one way or another whether it be by taking part in a careers event at a local school or by changing the way a friend/family member sees the world around them. If you want a career where you really can make a difference to someone’s life, engineering is the way to go.”

Molly is an active and experienced STEM Ambassador and is a Senior IChemE committee and project board member. She hopes to become a mentor for the Girl’s Network later this year and is a NEPIC Young Achiever award winner. She has been shortlisted for the Let’s Recycle’s 35 Under 35 wards this year and we really wish her well.

Amy Bloom, Assistant Technical Plant Engineer

“It was purely by chance that I ended up studying chemical engineering. Maths, biology and chemistry were my favourite subjects at school, and I knew I wanted to keep studying, but didn’t know in what. I started talking to a chemical engineer at my school’s career fair, who kindly agreed to give me some work experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the week, so I thought I’d give it a shot and applied to university.

I now visit schools as an ambassador to increase waste awareness and hopefully inspire other females into engineering and I would say to anyone thinking of a career in engineering – do what you love doing even if it may seem scary; it can be a very fulfilling career with almost limitless possibilities and opportunities.”

Rebecca Hawker, EC&I Engineer

“I started my career in engineering back in 1998 as an ICA apprentice at South West Water and moved to SUEZ six years ago when the Cornwall energy from waste plant was built.

I now support our community engagement with schools as a STEM ambassador to increase awareness of the types of careers available to those pupils studying STEM subjects and hopefully it will inspire other females into engineering.

I would say to anyone thinking of a career in engineering there has never been a better time to start. Whether you choose to work in design, installation or O&M there is a high demand for skilled engineers both locally and around the world.

It is a fascinating career with many fields and industries to choose from; technology is constantly developing, presenting countless opportunities to work on new and exciting projects.

If you enjoy solving problems and taking on new challenges every day then engineering is a great choice.”

Johanna Gal , Assistant Technical Plant Engineer

“I got my degree in chemical engineering but haven’t always known what I was going to do. I remember my initial thoughts when my sister chose to be a biochemical engineer (I was only 14) I found the thought of a female engineer quite strange. That was nearly 20 years ago, and at that time, in my country, engineering was still a man’s job. I was very lucky to have my sister as an inspiration and proving this wrong. Maths and Chemistry were my favourite subjects at school and seeing what she was studying at university helped me along the journey and three years later I applied to the same university to become a chemical engineer.

As I was interested in climate change, I wanted to use my knowledge to help create a sustainable future so after I came to the UK, I joined SUEZ to work at an Energy from Waste plant.

I would say to anyone thinking of a career in engineering – follow your heart even if you have been told otherwise. When you do something, you love and believe in, everything will be fine. A problem can be solved in so many different ways and I believe that engineering needs more females to bring different points of view. ”

To find out more about career opportunities available with SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, click here.

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