Lilian Knight - Systems Engineer, Thales
I have been working at Thales UK for three years, having started on their graduate scheme after completing an undergraduate Masters in Physics at Durham University. I began work in Basingstoke as a Sensors Engineer within the defence sector before moving into the Systems Engineering discipline, working on helicopter defence systems. I have recently accepted a new role as UK Engineering Performance Co-ordinator, which although is no longer working on project, will give me a far wider understanding of Engineering Process and hopefully exposure to the wide variety of products that we are involved in.
Since being at Thales and understanding some of the challenges the engineering industry is having with recruiting young people, I have tried as hard as possible to support STEM activities, working with Thales as a STEM ambassador to organise and run events. I feel especially strongly about the work that WISE does in motiving young girls to consider STEM subjects, as growing up at an all-girls school the STEM options (apart from medicine) were never encouraged, and engineering only happened to me by accident!
I am currently the WISE Champion for Thales, which means I am responsible for coordinating our involvement in the WISE Awards and Conference every year. As part of this role I am also trying to set up a communication channel across all our sites to raise awareness of the events that we run and support and to encourage like -minded people to talk to each other. I also am part of the Thales Diversity Working Group, which is working across the whole of the UK to encourage a more diverse work force, using the WISE 10 steps as their guidelines.