4th Year MEng Chemical Engineering with a Year in Industry, The University of Sheffield
Believe you can do it, and you're halfway there!
What do you do?
On my placement year currently, my role mainly involves energy analysis and project management - this includes energy auditing, energy analysis and troubleshooting energy usage using computer software. It also involves analysing the site system infrastructure to carry out the energy analyses, and going out on site and using engineering drawings to understand how process plant units are incorporated into the system. This placement year follows on from my previous project coordinating internship in Singapore; which involved hosting project development workshop sessions and curating engineering content used to develop the corporate engineering training app. These internships have allowed me to apply my theoretical university knowledge to real-life engineering situations and have helped develop my professional skillset as a young engineer. At the University of Sheffield, I study Chemical Engineering - which is all about process operations, and making processes more energy efficient, greener and cost-effective. There are also several other parts to my degree such as learning about system controls, nuclear engineering and crude oil distillation - which I find really interesting!
Why did you choose this field?
When I was around 14 years old, I just really found astronomy and learning about the universe really interesting. I wanted to know about how Newton's laws applied to galaxies, what caused the planetary orbits and what stars were made of - I just found it all so interesting! This sparked my interest in physics and after carrying out an astronomy internship and receiving a British Science Association award I felt more confident in my ability in STEM. I also always found Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla really interesting and I wanted to be able to understand the theories that they had developed. It was truly through this curiosity and wanting to know how the world worked that I started to look into engineering, and after realising that with Chemical Engineering I would be able to incorporate my love for Maths, Physics and Chemistry I knew it was something I was interested in!
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
There are several achievements that I wish younger me would have known were possible! For example, my summer engineering internship I had in Singapore was amazing! The company I was working for got me a huge condo with an infinity pool and sky garden! It was definitely a fab experience! It was also so interesting to be able to see the different types of personalities in engineering - for example having a boss that was a ‘glam and girly’ engineer really changed my perspective of engineering and further inspired me to realise that girls can do STEM too!
I also wouldn't have thought it was possible for me to win the Black Achievers 'Female Young Achievers’ award sponsored by PATRA - as it was completely unexpected! Seeing so much female representation in the engineering industry now is truly inspiring! Being part of the BAME community, it is amazing to see the progress over the past few years of diversity in STEM which has certainly further inspired me to pursue STEM
Why do you love working in STEM?
My favourite aspect of working in STEM is being able to use my creativity all the time - as figuring out different ways to solve engineering problems requires a lot of creativity! I also genuinely enjoy knowing that through engineering we are able to make the world a better place - whether it's through reducing energy usage or by developing more environmentally friendly supply chain solutions - engineering is central to our lives and I enjoy being a part of the development of a better world!
Best advice for next generation?
Believe you can do it, and you're halfway there! Don't ever let being a girl stop you from pursuing STEM and don't ever feel put off by under-representation in the STEM industry. It all starts with the taking the first step and STEM is such a broad subject you can always change your mind along the way!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
Albert Einstein and Coco Chanel; Albert Einstein for the amazing quantum theories that have quite literally shaped the world today, and Coco Chanel for the passion she had to not conform to the societal norms and her amazing creative ability!