Education and qualifications:
HNC Building Services Engineering, City of Westminster College
Senior Electrical Engineer
Norman Bromley Partnership
What inspired you to become an engineer or pointed you towards an engineering career?
I have always been interested in Lego, and I consider myself to be inquisitive and a visual learner. I found that I could play to my strengths in the engineering field as it offers me the opportunity to design and create building engineering systems that will benefit the lives of others every day.
Please describe your role or position within your workplace.
In my current role as Senior Electrical Engineer, my duties include checking work produced by others as part of our quality assurance processes, carrying out site surveys, producing reports and detailed design packages, monitoring building services installation progress on-site, as well as attending regular design team, client, and site meetings. I am also a technical source of information for our clients.
Can you describe a typical working day?
I must start the day with a cup of Earl Grey tea. When I arrive at the office, I open my emails and respond to any urgent pressing matters. I then review my action list and prioritise.
In consultancy, I find there is no such thing as a typical day. I could have a day in the office writing an Electrical Specification for a specific project or carry out a Quality Assurance review of a design package to be issued, or even a full day of project meetings with design teams discussing project progress and design decisions that need to be made. I could also have a site visit where I am required to witness the testing and commissioning being carried out on the electrical systems within a building. I could be carrying out a condition survey on a redundant building to ascertain the condition of the electrical equipment and give advice to the client on the life expectancy of the electrical systems, or I could be producing a set of electrical building services drawings. I love the fact that my workdays can be very varied and that two days are rarely the same.
Are there any particular challenges or unusual aspects to your role?
One of the biggest challenges is the amount of time that is spent talking about things rather than taking action. Sure, we can talk about the changes, and we need to ensure that people understand what is going on, but for things to make progress we need to act.
Another challenge is that technology moves on more quickly than the industry standards and guidance documents. Therefore, it can be challenging to ensure that my designs meet industry standards if that particular standard is out of date. This is where I apply my own engineering judgement for the benefit of the project and the client.
What do you find most enjoyable about your job?
I enjoy so many parts of my job. The most enjoyable part of my job by far, is mentoring and seeing the junior engineers develop and grow in confidence. Second to that, I enjoy seeing my designs come to life on site.
I also enjoy the huge variety of project types that I get to work on. Mortuaries, schools, hospitals, high-end hotels, private houses, golf clubs, fire stations, railway stations, commercial premises, retail outlets, the list goes on. I consider myself fortunate to be able to work across such a wide range of sectors.
Is there a great professional achievement or high-profile accomplishment that you would like to tell us about?
My highlights include being asked to provide a professional reference, being asked to be a mentor, and being asked to appear on industry podcasts as well as to write articles for industry magazines. I am proud to be an engineer, and it is a privilege to be asked to share my journey and my knowledge of the industry.
What contributed to your decision to become professionally registered?
Becoming an Engineering Technician (EngTech) is the first step in my professional registration journey. I have always wanted to become a Chartered Engineer (CEng) because it demonstrates dedication to career development and ensures engineering competence and commitment through peer assessment.
In what ways has registration benefitted your career?
Professional registration has allowed me to showcase my approach to ethical principles, and that I am serious about my career and development. I am a huge advocate of development, and being professionally registered is a great way of ensuring that I am continually developing.
How does your employer benefit from your professional registration?
My employer benefits from my professional registration as it shows that I meet and work to a certain standard of professionalism. As a service provider to clients such as NHS trusts, councils, and emergency services, professional registration gives clients the confidence that I am a competent engineer.
Is there any advice you would pass on to someone considering professional registration?
My first piece of advice would be to seek out others who may be considering professional registration. Having others to speak with and relay your thought processes is valuable. It is important to know that you are not on your own. My second piece of advice would be to take a small amount of time, it doesn’t have to be regimented, just jot down the things you do throughout the day, what you learned from it, and if there is anything you would do differently. Then before you know it, you have indirectly filled out an application form for professional registration. I think that so many people meet the criteria for so much without even realising it.
My third piece of advice would be to ask as many questions as you can and write down what you learn from those. Don’t let people make you feel like you can’t ask questions, if you are made to feel this way, look for someone else to ask. I know this is easier said than done, but often people are too busy to help others; if that is the case, then thank them and move on. There are people out there who are willing to help those who want it.
Where do you see yourself in your career in five years’ time or what are your future ambitions?
In five years' time, I see myself achieving Fellow status with my professional institutions, registering as a CEng, and working as a Technical Director. My future ambitions are to work on Passivhaus, a solution that delivers energy efficient buildings, and renewable energy projects in the healthcare and educational sectors. I would also like to encourage future generations to consider a career in engineering.
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 am the creator and author of a newsletter called ‘STEM & Beyond Spotlight’, where I focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. I do this by interviewing influential, empowering, and inspiring individuals, and showcasing all the roles and opportunities that exist, in the hope of encouraging future talent to consider careers in STEM. I am also a vocal about raising the profile of women in STEM and construction, a brand ambassador for a construction school, and an affiliate of a fire safety community.
Inside work, I support and mentor junior engineers and whoever else wants guidance. I may not know everything, but I care enough to be there for others.