Why I chose a career in STEM. And why you should too.

Article by Megan Bramwell, Research Mechanical Engineer, H2Tec

Women In EngineeringGrowing up, I was not actually sure what I wanted to be. It’s a difficult decision to make and even more so when you are so young.

However, I always knew that my career would, in some way, fall into the STEM category.

At school I loved the sciences. I liked seeing how things are applied to the world in Physics. And having dyslexia, I found that Maths was a subject that came easily to me.

When it came to crunch time - choosing what to study at Uni - I was caught between sports or engineering. It wasn’t until my Mum asked me which inspired me most that I realised that my passion lay squarely with engineering. Why? Because I wanted to be able to make a positive difference in the world.

Before I knew it, I was kickstarting a degree in Mechanical Engineering with Renewable Energy at The University of Edinburgh. I am set to graduate in 2021, and I am currently doing an Industrial Placement with H2Tec, a subsidiary of hydrogen tech firm Logan Energy, and which designs and manufactures specialised products for the hydrogen market.

I can honestly say that I love my job and I have no regrets in taking the career path that I have. There are so many different aspects of engineering in the job that I do, and I am learning new things all the time. Working with a clean energy firm is not only hugely rewarding, but I am able to see the role that engineering plays in helping to form a fully realised, finished product, which is inspiring.

There are challenges that come with being an engineer. I am a woman working in a male dominated industry, so it has been hard to get people to believe that I belong. But I work extremely hard both at University, and in my current role. The quality of my work and my work ethic speaks for itself. Not my gender.

The positive side of this is that things are changing. I no longer feel I have to prove to people that I don’t belong where I am right now. A major part of overcoming this has actually been from me accepting myself as a female engineer. My work at H2Tec has been a major driver of this. I am accepted by the team not by my gender but by what I can bring to the table - my skills, my knowledge and most importantly, my passion.

The biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone, but especially to women, is to believe in yourself. I was told this by my sister and it’s something I have always kept at the back of my mind.

If you are a woman reading this and you have a passion for STEM, but are unsure if you should take the plunge, then all I can say is to go for it. Don’t let stereotypes get in the way. If you can honestly say that your career inspires and interests you then you will have a lot more fun along the way!

About the author

Megan Bramwell is a Research Mechanical Engineer on an Industrial Placement at H2Tec, a subsidiary of hydrogen tech firm, Logan Energy. H2Tec designs and manufactures specialised products for the hydrogen market. She is working towards a degree in Mechanical Engineering with Renewable Energy from The University of Edinburgh, and is passionate about making a difference in the renewable and sustainable energy sector.