Top women engineers to show it’s not just ‘jobs for the boys’

29 January 2015

Top women engineers will tell school and college girls how they built successful careers in their industry at a University of Derby event.

Ten women overseeing and involved with major railway, aero, defence and other engineering projects will speak at the free ‘Women in Engineering’ event from 6pm to 9pm on Tuesday February 24, at the Heap Lecture Theatre, at the University’s main Kedleston Road site in Derby. The event is aimed at girls aged 12 and above, their parents, and teachers and careers advisors.

group of women engineers and an instructor

Speakers will include:

Also speaking at the event will be AJ (Ashleigh Jay) Watson and Emma Coates, both current students on the University’s BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree course; and Emma Allott, an Advanced Technical Apprentice working for Rolls-Royce Aero Repair and Overhaul.

AJ, 22, originally of Ware, Hertfordshire, said: “I am a second-year Mechanical Engineering student, and am hoping to go on to a career in nuclear design engineering. My dream job is to be a nuclear design engineer at Rolls Royce Marine Power Operations, working on the latest reactors for nuclear submarines.”

Fellow second-year Emma Coates, 25, of Duffield, added: “So far I have been successful in my studies and have really enjoyed the variety of subject areas covered. I also have been involved in extra projects, such as the University’s entries for the Shell Eco marathon project and the Formula student team, both of which are about designing and building race cars.

“Alongside my degree I work as a student ambassador, promoting Engineering within the University but also promoting it to female students."

The event has been organised by Bev Reardon, Schools and Colleges Liaison Tutor for the University’s Colleges of Arts, and of Engineering and Technology.

Bev said: “I set-up the Women in Engineering event because talking to parents, teachers and prospective students, it’s clear there are still many misconceptions around girls taking up careers in Engineering. To some, it still conjures up images of only oily, manual labour.

“To help dispel these misconceptions our event will bring together experienced women engineers and those just starting out in the sector, to talk to girls thinking about joining the industry.”

Schools parties, as well as individuals, are welcome to attend the free event. Schools or Colleges wishing to bring a minibus or coach full of students to the event should get in touch with the organisers ahead of the event.