The following is a Q&A with Jennifer Davidson (Chemical Engineering, 1999) who currently works as a Senior Operations Engineer with Spirit Energy.
What sparked your interest in engineering? Is it the same thing that inspires today?
I love to be able to take a lot of information, distil it down into the important parts and use those to solve a problem.
I still love the challenge of resolving an issue sometimes under very tight timescales.
Tell us a bit about your career since leaving University; what have you enjoyed and what have you found challenging?
I have had a few different roles since leaving university.
The first two were in research and development, one is plastic buoyancy products for offshore and the other was in a university research lab. Both were interesting but didn’t quench my thirst for problem solving.
I then joined a graduate scheme for an engineering design firm and went through that process for a number of years before coming out as a fully-fledged process engineer.
I made the move into operations a few years later when the opportunity arose, and have remained there.
I enjoy the fact that no two days are the same, there is always something happening and there is always value I can add.
What advice do you have for the next generation of women interested in getting into engineering?
Keep an open mind, very few people could have mapped out their career from graduation as it is hard to know the variety of roles out there.
I think as long as you are willing to learn and willing to work hard, you can make a difference in any role in any industry you find yourself in.