We chatted to Sam, our founder and CEO, about being a female engineer.

Why did you become an engineer?

I became an engineer mainly because, being one of 6 children, the only time I got to spend one on one time with my dad was when we were fixing cars and mending things around the house. That really sparked my interest into the intricacies of how different things work, so my mindset was formed from a very early age and really moulded my thinking and drove towards a career in engineering.

What was your most interesting role in engineering?

I worked for a company called Siemens as an Instrumentation Engineer and was involved in the designing and developing of collection probes which were used to collect samples from large industrial chimney sacks. I had to design a probe which was inert, which meant that the material that the probe was made from couldn’t affect or influence the sample that had been taken. These probes would gain samples which could then be tested to give data on the emissions produced from these large gas turbines.

What led you to your current role?

I took the decision to set up and start my own consultancy after I fell pregnant with my son. There was no real option for me to return to work on a part time basis so, in order to get the flexibility I needed to care for for him as well as work, I decided to set up on my own and forge out a career that way.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love that I get an opportunity to meet with really clever, inspirational engineers and scientists that are developing the next game changing medical technology. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. Being involved with product development teams and helping them to grow is very rewarding. I also get to find good people great opportunities within an ever changing technological environment.

How should the engineering sector support women in fulfilling their potential? How would you like to see opportunities improve?

I believe the engineering sector could support women better by helping them have the opportunity to return to work after they have taken some time out. That sabbatical can be for many reasons, but what I have found personally, within my own career and what I am aware of in recruitment, is that there aren’t the opportunities for women to progress to senior levels in a part time or flexible way.

What advice would you offer to young women considering a career in engineering?
I would say go for it! Engineering is a hugely broad spectrum of opportunity. You can work in some of the most advanced engineering sectors out there. From aviation, Formula 1, forensic ballistics, to the next architectural masterpiece. It’s a hugely rewarding career.

Tell us one thing about being an engineer that may surprise people?

Having a degree in engineering gives you so many different career paths. The myths that surround it even now, that you will be there holding a spanner and covered in grease, its just not like that, it is so much more technologically refined. Everything around us is influenced by engineering and science, everything you see, feel, touch. If you don’t really know what you want to do, then my advice would be to look no further than a career in Engineering and really make a difference.

If you would like Sam to speak in your school, university or workplace, please get in touch at recruitment@medicalengineers.co.uk


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