Plant Design Engineer, Air Products
How I Came To STEM
I always excelled in maths and sciences, but I also had a love for art, and in school when it came to
looking at what university courses to apply for, I was originally really against engineering. I come
from a family of engineers, but I still had a lot of negative stereotypes clouding my idea of the area
until I came across chemical engineering at a university open day. It was my first experience of
seeing the full potential of becoming an engineer and how it could intertwine with the parts of
maths and chemistry that I enjoyed.
I studied for my Masters in Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of
Strathclyde and found myself thoroughly enjoying the practical side of chemistry in the labs but
decided the maths and the applications of engineering were the most interesting for me in terms of
building a career.
After graduating I focused my efforts on finding a career in engineering and very soon after joined
Air Products as a graduate chemical engineer as part of their career development scheme. Since
then, I have completed the graduate scheme after doing three placements in completely different
business areas and I am now in my permanent role in Plant Data working on modelling efficiency and
performance for large scale production plants.
What I’m Proud Of, & What I’m Hoping to Achieve Through The WYPB
I have been extremely fortunate to have always been supported in pursuing my career in
engineering which helped immensely when choosing my degree and my job. However, when
working in a field that is still plagued by stereotypes regarding women as less capable, it can often
feel like there is barely enough room to be successful in your own role let alone support others
around you. I definitely experienced this when I began working as an engineer and found myself
often being the only woman on site and was spoken down to, or I found there were no female
facilities on site because they hadn’t even been considered before.
I’m really proud to already be known for loudly and unashamedly making my opinions on the gender
imbalance in the workplace known and pushing for changes which can often be as simple as
demanding accountability for why these barriers were ever put in place.
My personal aim is to never become complacent and to always drive the possibility for improvement
for everyone around me, and especially for those who come after me, to never have their career
hindered by gender bias. I hope that through WISE I have the opportunity and the platform to affect
even a little of this positive change to allow women to flourish in STEM as they always should have
been able to.
Why I Love What I Do
I’ve had a great opportunities within my current company to see lots of different aspects of what a
chemical engineer can be. I began working maintenance and safety projects at gas cylinder fillings
depots, I then moved to engineering design on the world’s largest green hydrogen plant as part of
the group responsible for the technical drawings, and then on to efficiency monitoring and
modelling of large-scale chemical plants. However, it’s also given me a great insight into all of the
other possibilities within engineering as a whole and it is interesting to see every day new ways of
how we all interact within our own specialties and come together to create something that wouldn’t
be possible on your own.
As an engineer, I love having the space to build creative solutions and implement new ideas and see
the changes that can make. Especially with now as I work in efficiency, there is so much importance
on sustainability and it is encouraging and exciting to be given the opportunity to implement new
solutions in real-time and see the outcome on operating plants and not just have it be a suggestion