For International Women in Engineering Day 2018, we spoke to Francesca Gaylor and Jamie D’Arth from MBDA, Kerry Knight and Victoria Roots from BAE Systems, and Jenny Smith from Aeromet about how they got into engineering. Here they share what they like about their jobs.

What do you like about your job?

Kerry Knight, Mechanical and Electrical Fitter for BAE Systems Maritime Services, is part of the team who designed, manufactured and tested the Pacific 24 Rigid Inflatable Boats that are on the giant aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. With top speeds of up to 38 knots (44mph), the RIBs are versatile rapid response craft which can be deployed from either ship or shore.

“I’m so chuffed and I was really proud to see them on board,” Kerry said. “It was incredible to see the carrier coming into Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time; the sheer size of her is mind-blowing. I love my job and I’m proud to be involved in producing the Pacific 24s, the way they turn and manoeuvre is fantastic – they are phenomenal.”

Kerry Knight, BAE Systems

Jenny Smith, apprentice engineer at Aeromet, said: “Being an engineer makes me feel I am involved in a career where what I make can make a real difference.”

Francesca Gaylor, graduate engineer at MBDA, said: “Engineering is a way of being creative and scientific, which combines two of my interests. I also enjoy the variety as now two days are ever the same. One minute you may be modelling lift and drag profiles, and the next you may be using TRIZ methodology to concept new technologies. You also get a lot of experience of working in a team and meeting new people which I really enjoy.”

Victoria Roots, senior systems engineer at BAE Systems, said: “When the plane I worked on in my graduate programme had its first flight, the team reunited to watch and it was a really rewarding moment. Because I work in really localised aspects of large projects, it’s sometimes easy to forget about the bigger picture, so it’s great to take the time to step back and remember that I’m working towards building an aircraft that will one day be airborne.”

Jamie D’Arth, mechanical engineer at MBDA, said: “I’ve always enjoyed STEM subjects. I found the logic of maths and physics very interesting, and with chemistry it was just fun in general. After the mobile robotics show MBDA opened my eyes to the opportunities within engineering, and how they aligned with my wider interests.

“The experiences you encounter in engineering are unique. I have been given the opportunity to undertake tasks and take on opportunities and events that few others would have access to. Another one of the best things about being an engineer is the diversity of work on offer. No two weeks are ever the same, and there are so many more areas to be explored outside of what is traditionally known about. A lot of people have a very narrow idea of what an engineer does but in reality it’s one of the most diverse and interesting fields to work in.”

Find out more about International Women in Engineering Day.

Find out more about career opportunities at BAE Systems, Aeromet and MBDA.