Girls need role models and advice - if you are good at science subjects, you can do engineering

Abby Adamson
Abby Adamson
Chemical & Biological Engineering
MEng Degree
My name is Abby Adamson, I study Chemical Engineering; working out the processes to make useful, everyday products from raw materials. We also help manage the world's resources, protect the environment and ensure health and safety standards are met.I have just finished my MEng degree in Chemical Engineering with Energy at the University of Sheffield.

Watch: our interview with Abby

One thing I know about engineering is that it gives you a wide variety of skills, when I was looking through UCAS I came across Chemical Engineering and it said you need Chemistry, Maths, and Physics or Biology and I thought, wow, that’s perfect. You could go into the oil and gas sector, the pharmaceutical industry. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my degree but I liked the fact that chemical engineering gives you a wide variety of things to do.

What excites you about engineering?

You get to do so many different things. For example, before I came to University, I had the opportunity to go to the Coca-Cola industry to learn about how they manufacture and make coca cola. There were chemical engineers there; I didn’t realise I was going to find chemical engineers working for Coca-Cola. I always thought it was about oil and gas.

We’ve been on different trips; to a coal-fired plant, a Jaguar-Landrover plant, Tata Steel and these are all still chemical engineering sectors. So there is such a wide variety of things you can do and the different skills you get. There’s always something new, the way you might think something isn’t engineering but when you dig deep you find out that it is engineering.

What are has been your best bit about University?

Joining the Women in Engineering Society, I remember getting the email about it and thinking it would be something interesting for me to get involved in. I’ve been part of the committee for two years now and I’ve absolutely loved everything we’ve done. We’ve been doing a lot of outreach activities, for example I was at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham where we had to explain Science and Engineering to little children and that was quite exciting. Also, I’ve met a lot of females from PhD students to first year and we all have the need to develop ourselves; to do something different. Being around girls that are very, very motivated also makes me motivated. In a way they are my role models as well. It inspires me and makes sure I do my best and put my best into this engineering degree.

What do you plan to do after you've graduated?

I want to get into the oil and gas sector. I did my internship in oil in Nigeria. It was very interesting; I was in the lab testing diesel and petrol products. That experience made up my mind that I wanted to work in the sector. I want to get offshore experience. In last years oil and gas class and we learnt about offshore: which is where I hope to work. For me, its about doing something I enjoy. Its not about going into a male dominated environment, its about going into an environment with other people that enjoy working offshore. Going with a positive outlook will help me gain as much knowledge as I can.

We interviewed Abby in 2014.

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