Alexandra Lawson

SEGAL Hydrocarbon Scheduler, Shell UK

How I came to STEM

At school, I believed that I wanted to be a dentist up until a short work experience trip helped me decide that root canals were definitely not for me!

I went back to the drawing board, and shortly after taking part in an activity called Petrochallenge run by OPITO, I discovered the world of Chemical Engineering. I studied for a Masters in Chemical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde where I was fortunate to complete a number of summer internships.

After my second year, I completed an internship in Dubai working within the Petroleum Engineering department at Heriot Watt University. This was my first real experience of the doors that a career in STEM would shortly start to open.

Following my third year, I had the opportunity through the Saltire Foundation to complete an internship with Rolls Royce and American Airlines in Dallas, Texas. This was an incredible experience, and my first insight into the world of operations, which helped me get to where I am today – in oil and gas operations. Finally, following my fourth year, I completed a summer internship with Shell before returning as a Graduate in 2017.

Why I love what I do

I am a very proud production supervisor at St Fergus Gas terminal, north of Aberdeen, often working long hours and through the night to ensure the people of the UK have a gas supply to their homes. I am training to lead a team of 5 technicians who are responsible for providing 15% of the UK’s gas supply.

I love being within operations as what I do changes every single day depending on what is going on at the gas plant. It is a very fast paced environment working with a variety of different disciplines in a hands-on role. I love working on the frontline and having exposure to any challenging events first hand, and being part of the team who are able to come up with solutions to overcome them.

I am privileged to work with a team of people with a wealth of knowledge – who have been, and will continue to be pivotal to my development.

What I’m proud of, & what I’m hoping to achieve through the WYPB

Throughout my early years, I wasn’t so fortunate as to have family or friends in STEM, however, I was fortunate to meet several inspiring role models who helped mentor and coach me, shaping my future career path.

WISE played a big part in my early years by providing information and opening my eyes to a world of opportunity. Now, post-graduation, I see this as my opportunity to say thank you, and give back to the organisations that have helped me by inspiring others to follow in my footsteps.

My experiences at university and in my new career have taught me how to fail, learn, then make a come back and try again.

My vision is clear – I am so proud to be one of the current females striving for a million UK women in STEM by 2020.

I say yes when others say no. I blaze trails and step up to challenges. I remain focused on success. I elect to always go first. I raise the bar on what is possible. And above all, I continue to develop my experiences to become a great leader.

My favourite part of attending industry presentations at school and university was watching someone present, feeling completely inspired and thinking “one day, I want to be like them.” I am on a mission to be that person for others – to light their spark for science and engineering, just like others did for me.


Awards, Posts, Projects, & Events

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