I love my course and the community we have, everybody is so friendly and helpful, which lightens the workload and makes the hard work worth it
Read: Our interview with Ellie
Why did you want to be an engineer?
I wanted to be an engineer as I wanted to do something that could help to make a positive impact on the world. When I was younger, I used to be very scared about the world ending because of global warming. I would sit and wait for a giant wave to take us out, instead of being scared I decided I would do all I could to stop that from happening, and engineering seemed like the best solution.
I am now very passionate about sustainable living and renewable energy, and so I specialised in Energy and Sustainability.
What’s been the highlight of your engineering journey so far?
I did a project for Engineering You’re Hired, which all engineering students do in their second year, and we went on to win the competition!
From that competition, we have had multiple people from industry contact our team, wanting to invest and help us make the project a real-life solution and make it a company. We are now entered in the national competition and have upcoming meetings with big engineering companies to get a proto-type made and to (hopefully) get a pilot scheme of our idea in Sheffield city. This has shown me a lot about people’s belief in our generation to lead the way, it has been so amazing to see the kindness of strangers and willingness to give us their time and much appreciated wisdom. It has also given me so much hope for the future and pride that people believe in us.
As secretary of GEMsoc what kinds of things are you involved with and how important is it for students to be involved with societies?
As a secretary, I oversaw the running of the committee and helped out in many aspects. Due to covid, we had to be very creative with our socials, so we did lots of online quizzes, online escape room, various outreach activities to get freshers involved. We did red January where people take part in individual exercises to raise money for charity, we also came up with a family concept to give people links within the society. It felt really good to be part of something like that. It was also so great to see so many women in the committee, out of the seven roles, five of them were women.
Research has shown that to encourage women to think about a career in engineering we must start teaching what engineering is at a young age. How would you encourage primary school children to become interested in STEM?
I would say that building and making things really engages people to think like an engineer and aspire to build more. Introducing building challenges in schools, with lego, sticks, blocks, paper, etc, that would be fun and hopefully inspire children to see what they can do, especially young women. The fact that Lego has brought out a set aimed at girls where they can build a wind turbine and electric car is so great. I also think telling stories of inspiring women who have done and created amazing things will encourage younger girls to get into STEM.
What’s the best thing about being an engineering student?
One of the best things about being an engineering student is that you can actually have an impact on something you are passionate about and learn how everyday things work. Another great thing is the high probability that you will get a job when you graduate, engineers are in demand, especially women engineers.
I love my course and the community we have, everybody is so friendly and helpful, which lightens the workload and makes the hard work worth it.
We interviewed Ellie in August 2021
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