Inspirational Woman I Amy Edmundson, Electrical Maintenance Technician at Hinkley Point B

Amy grew up in Bridgwater and was always aware of Hinkley Point B through her own friends and friends of her parents. Her interest in engineering was first sparked at school when she was asked to design a product in a design and technology class, which required her to use and develop a lot of skills and knowledge needed in engineering, such as creativity and science.

Amy went on to join the EDF Energy apprenticeship scheme in 2011, which she felt was a brilliant opportunity to work in a unique and interesting industry – that of nuclear power. She spent the first two years of her apprenticeship at HMS Sultan, a navy base in Portsmouth, which proved to be a great training base for learning a trade, as well as an opportunity to meet new people.

She recently qualified as a maintenance technician. A power station uses lots of electrical equipment and her role involves maintaining and repairing electrical equipment, such as batteries, motors and circuit breakers. Amy is now doing a Higher National Certificate in Electrical, Electronic and Control Principals – her ambition being to develop her skills further and open up other career routes within operations and engineering. Amy is a role model for the EDF Energy #PrettyCurious campaign.

 What’s your career and education history?

I grew up in Bridgwater and was always aware of Hinkley Point B through friends and friends of my parents.

King Alfreds School, where I studied GCSE’s including Science, Design Technology and Maths. I then went to Bridgwater College for 1 Year where I studied AS-Levels in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. I didn’t have much experience in the engineering industry before I joined the apprenticeship scheme in 2011, but my interest was sparked at school. We were asked to design a product in a design and technology class, which employed a lot of techniques that you would apply to engineering such as creativity and science.

I felt that the apprenticeship was not only a brilliant opportunity for me to gain the experience I wanted, but to also allow me to work in such a rare, individual and interesting industry of ‘nuclear power’. It also leads into such a brilliant career path for me, with working on a nuclear power station.Amy Edmundson 4

Tell us about HMS Sultan

I spent my first two years of the apprenticeship carrying out my training at HMS Sultan. During these two years I gained all the basic knowledge and skills which I required to build on and hopefully to become a successful maintenance technician at Hinkley Point B, and maybe C in the future. HMS sultan is a navy base in Portsmouth, and is a great chance to spend time away from home, whilst learning a trade, and meeting new people from across the country!

What are your thoughts on your role?

I recently qualified from my apprenticeship as an Electrical technician. A power station uses lots of electrical equipment and my role involves maintaining and repairing electrical equipment – for example, batteries, motors, circuit breakers.

There are so many opportunities for development within the company. I recently qualified as a maintenance technician after a four year apprenticeship with EDF Energy and am now doing a Higher National Certificate in Electrical, Electronic and Control Principals. My ambition is to join the technical leg of the technician level, as well as having the opportunity to go into a job with operations, engineering, or many other roles. This ability to develop your skills is hugely supported by the company.

As a whole, EDF Energy is a brilliant company to work for, and I am proud to be an employee. I have the opportunity to be involved in such a unique industry, as well as have a great and secure job.

What is your advice for women who want to pursue STEM careers?

Boys and girls all start education at the same level and all have the ability to do well in science. It’s a shame that so many teenage girls don’t think they’re clever enough and think they’re too creative to work in a science-based job. There are so many creative jobs you can do with a science qualification, in many different industries. I hope the #PrettyCurious campaign will encourage more girls and young women to explore the opportunities open to them. Being a woman in the industry can be seen to be difficult, but I can happily say women are not treated differently and it would be great to see more women join our teams.

Don’t ever think that you’re not good enough, women make just as good engineers and scientists as men.


Inspirational Woman: Professor Dame Carol Robinson | L’Oreal For Women in Science Awards

Women in room with paintingsProfessor Dame Carol Robinson is making her mark in history having created a new scientific field, gas phase structural biology. Her breakthrough has secured her a global honour at L'ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards.

For 17 years, women in the science industry have been celebrated for their incredible efforts and contributions to the research field, from curing diseases to protecting the environment, and the award makes Professor Dame Carol Robinson the fifth British Scientist to have ever won.

In this inspiring video she talks about balancing her career in science with a demanding home life, what it means to be awarded the European Laureate award and the importance of the For Women In Science programme in supporting future generations of women entering scientific vocations.

We decided to find out more;

"The work life balance issue is a difficult one. I think there are times in your career when your outside life has to come first."

Women at computerHow did your interest in science originate? At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a scientist?

Through an inspirational teacher but there was no conscious plan to become a scientist – my scientific career evolved with me.

I can remember being fascinated by the periodic table from a very early age. I loved patterns that it held and realised the enormity of what I was looking at. Recognising, or looking for, patterns in my research is still very exciting for me.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in pursuing a career in science? How did you resolve them?

The work life balance issue is a difficult one. I think there are times in your career when your outside life has to come first. As a scientist the enormous flexibility that goes with the job is really a bonus. I didn't miss out on any important school events, sports days, nativity plays etc. Now my children are working all over the world. I am totally free to pick up the pace on my research. My advice would be to take advantage of the flexibility of your career and to remember that there will be periods when you can’t devote as much time to your work as you would like. Be confident that these will pass and then you will be grateful that you maintained your position in academic research.

women at computerWhen you were named as the first female Professor of Chemistry at both Oxford and Cambridge, how did you feel?

I remember feeling quite daunted. It felt as though I was an experiment and that my colleagues would be watching to see how I did – could a woman take on this role? I also felt that it was quite sad that many amazing women before me had not been given the chance to be Professors - they clearly deserved to be.

"I think it is a great idea that L’Oreal-UNESCO is highlighting women scientists in this way."

What has been your proudest moment as a scientist?

I remember the day, almost 25 years ago, when I saw my first protein assemblies fly through the gas phase. This excited me, particularly as these experiments were not predicted to work. Theoretical calculations had suggested that proteins would turn inside out in the gas phase. The fact that they stayed together and we later showed that they had the correct shape really launched my whole career.

Do you think that programmes like this help to encourage young women into the industry?

I think it is a great idea that L’Oreal-UNESCO is highlighting women scientists in this way. I hope it has a very positive effect on young women considering a career in science.

Carol RobinsonHow do you perceive the cause of women in science?

There are some great women scientists – getting them to believe in themselves, recognizing their potential and getting others to do so if perhaps the greatest challenge.

"You can have a great career if you really enjoy science. It is important to follow your passion and to be committed."

As a role model, what would you recommend to girls or young adults who are considering a career in science?

You can have a great career if you really enjoy science. It is important to follow your passion and to be committed. Being an academic is a very flexible career, particularly if you have outside commitments. There are times when I have worked incredibly hard - less so when my children were young. Now that they have all left home I am totally free to work at my own pace again. There are so many positives about being a scientist. Don’t think of it as being stuck in the lab all day. The opportunities to present your research, to interact at conferences and to carry out collaborations across the world are tremendously exciting. It is also very rewarding working with bright young students, watching them develop and take up their own careers. It really is a great career choice.

Watch Dame Carol Robinson discuss her career in this inspiring video

https://youtu.be/H6oc87EQFoA

For more information please visit: www.womeninscience.co.uk


Marie Curie - Celebrating an Amazing Woman

Marie Curie is a lady synonymous with the area of science and in particular cancer research. An astounding and truly inspiring lady, she would be due to turn 147 this November. Born in Poland into an unassuming family, Marie Curie was determined to have a career defined by research even at an early stage. For a woman to show such determination in terms of her career at that particular time of the century is remarkable.

She moved to Paris to further her studies and it wasn’t without its challenges in terms of funding. However, this never halted the determination or tenacity of Marie Curie. Still today a hugely respected figure head in science worldwide, read more in this info-graphic about this woman who defined areas of science and learning and also learn how she made a name for herself even in the darkest of circumstance.

Source: http://www.homecareplus.ie/   

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