To celebrate women in engineering, we spoke to three female engineers working at Vattenfall Heat UK. A company that’s committed to delivering low carbon heating solutions around the UK, and is a prime example of how a career in STEM can lead to solving critical problems that face society today, such as climate change and net-zero.
Why did you want to work in engineering?
Hannah : The variety of careers you can create for yourself having the skills of an engineer is vast and as the world and technologies are changing and developing so quickly, engineering will give me the skills for a lifetime of work. Ultimately I just love the process of designing something and then watching it come to life. Embodying the blood, sweat and tears that goes into making something actually work is so rewarding.”
Selene: “I was always attracted by science subjects at school (maths, physics, technical drawing, etc.) and thought I’d become an architect. But I was concerned by the environment as well ( I wanted to be part of Greenpeace and go on a boat trip to stop whale hunters; or work as an environmental inspector and fine factories that were causing too much pollution) so when, at the last years of high school, I discovered I could study engineering, I decided I would become a Renewable Energy Engineer.”
Lina: “I chose to do engineering because I wanted to create systems that benefit society and become part of the natural environment.”
What does an engineer do?
Selene: “We find creative ways to solve problems and put them into practice. In Spanish, the word for Engineer is Ingeniero, which I like to think it comes from Ingenio (ingenuity or inventiveness) instead of from Engine, since I think it describes the job way better!”
Lina: “Everything from generating ideas to operating systems. It can be anything from something that provides fundamental human needs like water, to something that drives human development like computers. What an engineer does is up to the individual to decide.”
Hannah: “Whatever they want to do! An engineer develops skills to solve problems and understand the complex and simple systems of the world that allows you to apply that to wherever you find inspiration.”
What’s the benefit of being an engineer?
Lina: “Having an engineering background empowers me to take on any challenge, giving me the tools to understand the problem in a wider context and work together with people of different backgrounds to get to a solution.”
Hannah: “The chance to try and make the world a better place for future generations, while utilising and constantly developing technical and soft skills that challenge me intellectually and personally.”
Selene: “A practical approach to everything in life. It also allows me to understand the basics of everything that surrounds me (transport, technology, buildings.) and it constantly drives me to want to know more.”