My life. My potential #INWED21

Today is International Women in Engineering Day which aims to celebrate and raise the profile of women in engineering and focuses on the amazing career opportunities available to women and girls in this exciting industry.

Meet Elizabeth who is a Communications and Electronics Engineer and the lead Safety Engineering for Air Command Battlespace Management (BM) within the Royal Air Force.

What encouraged you to join the RAF?

I joined the RAF when I was 16 years old. I had dreamed of joining the Forces since the age of 13. I wanted to be a part of something that I viewed as special and
respected. I had an urge to be challenged yet supported and developed; I knew I would have an exciting and wholesome life where I could learn and grow as a young woman.

If you could go back to dispel one myth / preconception about Initial Training, what would it be?

I would dispel the myth that all Directing Staff are ogrish and frightening. They are selected on their professional and military leadership merit to facilitate an environment where they get the best out of you. I have a handful of Staff to thank for my current position in the RAF because they believed in me and pushed me to realise my potential.

How did you find the transition from civilian to military lifestyle?

I found it hard initially, however this was due to my age. I was a young adult finding my own voice and identity. The RAF offered me opportunities I will be forever grateful for where I was able to form my identity and become the person I am today.

Talk me through an average day.

I provide oversight of all legacy and new BM equipment Safety Cases and act as the Safety Engineering specialist for all BM equipment programmes. I liaise daily with our industry partners to ensure they are asserting assured equipment integrity, performance and functionality for all equipment types they provide and deliver to the Air Traffic Management world. I act as the Safety Engineering specialist for all BM equipment programmes however my main focus is where I offer specialist advice on the safety and assurance of equipment behaviour as designed to inform and enable safe usage.

What do you enjoy most about your job / the RAF?

I enjoy the challenges that I face every day and the excitement of new opportunities. The RAF isn’t just an organisation to me, it is a family, it is part of my identity and being a part of the RAF genuinely inspires me to be the best version of myself.

What are some of the most memorable experiences from your time within the RAF?

I have too many fond memories to mention. I have loved every part of each of my training experiences, working out of Branch within the Intelligence sector, becoming a professional Engineer, being a full time MSc student, being fortunate to be in a Command position, meeting friends for life and all of the sporting and AT endeavours.

You can find more about engineering careers within the Royal Air Force and more widely about the engineering within the Ministry of Defence by following @DefenceEng.