Amanda Heslop

The intriguing nature of flight and propulsion captured my 10-year-old imagination and, coupled with my curious and inquisitive nature, inspired hobbies, experiences and studies that led me to read Aeronautical Engineering at Loughborough University.

This was a not a traditional academic path for a woman, but demonstrates that I had an interest in technology at an early age. By the time I had graduated with a First Class Master’s degree, I had accumulated experiences at major airline maintenance facilities, small composite aircraft design studios, marine fabrication businesses, and the gas turbine engine design and manufacturing firm – Rolls-Royce.

I was accepted onto a one year internship programme with Rolls-Royce after competing for a place amongst thousands of applicants. Surpassing expectations, I started on the graduate programme in 2009 and shortly after gained Engineering Chartership status. I gained a breadth and depth of technological knowledge and experiences navigating the different Defence and Civil gas turbine engine teams including Component Manufacturing, Engine Systems Design, Life-Cycle Management, and Product Support and Investigations. After 6 short years, I was promoted to a role on the Chief Engineer’s first line and became one of a few female engineering managers globally in the Company.

More recently, my career has focused on supporting Rolls-Royce customers with their operational ambitions and issues. On the Trent 1000 engine programme, I worked closely with airlines and I was responsible for the corporate responses to in-service reliability and safety findings. Today, I am the Chief Project Engineer across Rolls-Royce Defence Legacy programmes (eg: Pegasus engine [Harrier Jump Jet], Merlin engine [WW2 Spitfire]). This involves working with international senior stakeholders and military organisations on multi-million pound projects, managing product safety, and identifying the best technological solutions to issues.

In parallel to performing in my management role in the Company, I have recently completed a second Master’s degree (Distinction) in Service Design and Management at the University of Warwick. Moreover, I passionately believe in promoting and supporting women in engineering. I contribute practically in cross-industry mentoring programmes and through various Rolls-Royce forums, including leading employee resource groups, speaking at Diversity and Inclusion conferences, and was recently invited by the UK Ambassador in Italy to discuss opportunities and challenges for women in engineering.