Education and qualifications:
BEng Mechanical Engineering, University of Surrey
Principal Systems Assurance Consultant
What inspired you to become an engineer or pointed you towards an engineering career?
My father was the primary inspiration for me becoming an engineer. During my childhood, he used to always take the time to share his work with us, whether it was explaining the components inside our refrigerator at home or taking us on a car factory visit. As a child, I used to sit beside my father and watch him unscrew a piece of electrical equipment and take it to pieces. It was this sheer curiosity and passion for creating, building, and analysing how things work which made me pursue a career in engineering.
Please describe your role or position within your workplace.
I am a Principal Systems Assurance Engineer within the Rail sector. In short, my ultimate responsibility is to ensure that our railway systems are both safe and also reliable. I work with the clients throughout a project lifecycle to demonstrate compliance with standards and regulations, while ensuring the client’s specific requirements are addressed.
Can you describe a typical working day?
My working days vary depending on the nature of a project that I am working on, as well as the specific environment in which a client operates in. But a typical working day generally involves attending different technical meetings and workshops with design leads across various disciplines, reviewing their latest design documentation and performing Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) analysis using a range of tools and techniques. I make sure to provide feedback and recommendations to the design team with the objective of providing a platform for continuous improvements.
Are there any particular challenges or unusual aspects to your role?
The most challenging, and also interesting, part of my job is collaborating with various (sometimes difficult) stakeholders across multiple disciplines and trying to ultimately influence their design works by making them realise the importance of assurance throughout all stages of design development.
What do you find most enjoyable about your job?
RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) directly contributes to sustainability through loss prevention, optimisation of resources, reduction of waste and environmental impact. Knowing that, through my work, I make a real positive contribution to the lives of people and the environment is what I find most enjoyable about my job.
Is there a great professional achievement or high-profile accomplishment that you would like to tell us about?
I successfully led Reliability Availability and Maintainability (RAM) activities of two major Crossrail stations to completion and received a Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) award from my employer in recognition of my good work on these projects. I also achieved my Project Management Qualification (PMQ) in 2019 and have successfully managed various project management deliverables on three important rail projects within the UK. But thus far, I consider the biggest achievement of my career to be achieving Chartered status through the Engineering Council and the Safety and Reliability Society (SaRS).
What contributed to your decision to become professionally registered?
I decided to become a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in order to further progress my career, raise my profile and gain recognition amongst my peers, superiors, clients and other engineers’ colleagues across various disciplines. Becoming a CEng enables me to further develop my knowledge and insight by keeping up to date with the latest professional standards and making the most of ethical guidance, sector-specific advice, and regulatory help. Furthermore, it enables me to build valuable client relationships based on trust, honesty, and integrity.
In what ways has registration benefitted your career?
Registration has directly supported my career as it is one of the key requirements within my organisation when it comes to pursuing a managerial / leadership role. It has also allowed me to demonstrate my professional development, engineering competence and ethics to my peers and clients.
How does your employer benefit from your professional registration?
Professional registration is seen by both international and domestic clients as a sign of competency and transparency. Professional registration of its employees enables my organisation to demonstrate to its clients that it is committed to staff development and that its engineers have obtained the necessary competencies and skillsets to undertake projects in an ethical and transparent manner, in accordance with all the relevant industry standards and regulations.
Is there any advice you would pass on to someone considering professional registration?
I would strongly recommend that they consider working towards their professional registration. It’s crucial to find a mentor who they feel comfortable with and get into the habit of recording their professional development - including mapping activities against the UK-SPEC competences - as they go along.
Where do you see yourself in your career in five years’ time or what are your future ambitions?
I would like to further develop my technical skills in the field of Systems Engineering and to further develop my experience within the managerial and leadership roles. I would also like to continue supporting my younger engineering colleagues in their career journey and towards achieving their professional registration with the Engineering Council.
Outside work, is there any activity you enjoy doing in your spare time that relates to engineering? For example, do you participate in mentoring, volunteering or membership of other engineering groups?
I voluntarily became a mentor for two of my junior colleagues straight after obtaining my CEng registration. I always try to expand my technical knowledge in the field of Systems Safety and Reliability by attending internal and external technical webinars and events. Furthermore, I use every opportunity to encourage young people, especially girls, to peruse a career in engineering.