Burnside Primary – Craigholme School – Strathclyde University
Standard Grades: 6 (A); Intermediate 2: 2 (A); Higher: 6 (A x2, B x3, C x1); Advanced Higher: 1 (C) – BEng Hons Chemical and Process Engineering (2.2), MSc Advanced Chemical and Process Engineering (distinction)
INMEL – Colombia Internship (Energy and Telecommunications Company), Taytech Environmental – QSHE Engineer (Chemical Solutions Company), BAE Systems Weapon Systems – Product Safety and Environmental Engineer, BMT Defence and Security – Safety and Environmental Consultant
Safety and Environmental Consultant
I currently work for BMT Defence and Security, a consultancy that specialises in supporting the defence industry. With this employer I have been able to work projects for a number of customers that includes the MoD.
The quote: "Though she be but little she is fierce" comes to mind...
I currently split my time, living between Glasgow and the Lake District with my boyfriend. We have two dogs (working cocker spaniels) who are full of energy and love the beach. I enjoy many outdoor activities like mountaineering, bouldering, mountain biking and skiing. Probably the most notable interest of mine is my extreme passion for travelling having travelled, volunteered and worked in a number of different countries that includes: Colombia, Seychelles, Japan and Thailand.
I ensure the products used by the military are safe for use and look for new ways to design them to improve safety and environmental implications.
The defence industry can be very secretive, often with its work classified which has two main benefits:
- No one can ask you what you specifically did that day and;
- You are included in a select group of people with inside knowledge, unknown to anyone else.
A safety and environmental engineer or consultant are often referred to as a “Jack of all trades, master of none”. This means I have to have a broad understanding or most engineering applications i.e. mechanical, software, control, structural etc. to develop a structured body of evidence in support of the product. I can be involved anywhere in a design lifecycle from the concept of a new design to the maintenance of an old one meaning no two days are the same for me, keeping me on my toes.
I have been technical (safety) lead on a variety of tasks focused on military combat systems and explosive safety. For example: I was key in the production of the body of evidence in support of the medium calibre gun on the newly designed Type 26 (see image), capable of long-range firing without a line of sight. Support for this task involved various trips away from Bristol to America.
Additionally, I have been responsible for the safety and environmental maintenance of the AS90 Howitzer (see image) where I have supported numerous assessments that required further product testing.
As a safety and environmental engineer, I am expected to thoroughly check all aspects of design and operation taking consideration of product pressures, stress, fatigue, material wear, noise and vibration (to name a few). Fundamentally, it is my responsibility to ensure the safe operation and maintenance of any military product I work on, without which could result in damage to property or even loss of life.
My Typical Day: With my role it is difficult to have a 'typical day' however, usually I can arrive to work between 7:30-9am where I spend the day in the office. Usually I have meetings most of the day where we discuss task progress/upcoming tasks. I have lunch with friends and then progress any documentation and prep for the following day.
One of the main benefits about my role is the variety in work and flexibility in schedule. With this flexibility means I do not have a structured start or end to my day meaning I can organise my day to best suit me.
As I have mentioned above, I am usually an office worker however, due to the nature and responsibilities of my role I do often have to travel for meetings, testing/trials and assessments off site.
What I'd do with the money
I would use the money to better promote STEM with relevance to defence activities.
I would put the money towards better promotion of STEM in defence with the creation of defence related experiments that could be taken and utilised as demonstrations within schools.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Opinionated engineer and travel lover.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Travelled 1st Class to America to witness a product prototype.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I wanted to study a subject at university that would allow me to have a variety of job options when I left as I really did not know specifically what I wanted to do yet.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes! - I used to get told off for falling asleep in class.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Probably a medical professional of some sort.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Anything with pasta!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I went for a skydive over NASA's VA building, where they assemble the rockets for launch.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1.To be able to travel anywhere in the blink of an eye, 2. To live somewhere sunnier, 3. To have more days off!
Tell us a joke.
What is the definition of an engineer?... Someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.