Laura Davies is an engineering student who is a Reservist in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). She was recently invited to become an Ambassador for the BLOODHOUND Project. As part of this role she visits schools to talk to children about STEM [science / technology / engineering / maths] subjects and to inspire the next generation of engineers.
“…We need to present and be good role models for girls. We need to let them know that engineering is not just about getting dirty…”
Education and career to date
I am an engineering student going into my final year reading a BSc in Aeronautical Technology, a follow on from a National Diploma in Aerospace Engineering and an NVQ in Performing Engineering Operations. I am on track with my grades to get into Cranfield University in order to do an Aerospace Masters.
Whilst at university, I joined the Officer Training Corps and subsequently transferred to 101 Force Support Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), as it seemed the right choice with regards to my profession. I have applied for a Commission as a REME Officer in the Reserves, however I have taken the opportunity to learn a trade whilst this is on-going, as I can train as a vehicle mechanic, which provides me a much broader engineering experience (and I get paid for it!).
Becoming a BLOODHOUND Educational Ambassador
Recently, I was contacted by the Army Team working on the BLOODHOUND Project who invited me to train as a BLOODHOUND Educational Ambassador. It’s an amazing opportunity to get children fired up about STEM subjects as well as promoting the Army Reserves, REME and BLOODHOUND SSC.
As a BLOODHOUND Ambassador, my role is to visit schools and tell children the inspiring story about the BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car (SSC). Professional engineering institutions have set out why STEM outreach is vital to the supply of engineers in the UK – I am very proud to be a part of BLOODHOUND’s education programme to inspire younger generations into STEM careers.
Engineering: Keeping my mind entertained with solutions to problems
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, but above all I chose engineering for the challenge. I like to keep my mind entertained with solutions to problems. I have always been creative, hands on and intellectual.
For me, I was drawn to aviation, hence my degree. I don’t have a specific role model but I have great respect for the engineers and pilots who save lives everyday in both civilian and military roles. It is almost a miracle how flying occurs; we are so lucky to have such advancements in recent years within aviation. The engineering behind the aircraft and the people who run and maintain them is incredible.
I am starting my engineering career, both as a student and also as an Army Reservist. I am particularly looking forward to combining the skills and experiences I will learn from both – for me this is the most exciting part of being in the Reserves as it gives me access to some of the best training and a chance to use it on operations.
The most rewarding elements of my role
As a BLOODHOUND Educational Ambassador, the most rewarding part of my job role is seeing the excitement and interest the children we work with get out of the project. Children perceive science to be boring and at times can be limited by a school’s syllabus. It’s very rewarding, especially seeing how excited kids get and hearing the feedback about how much information they have retained and learned.
Engineering is for everyone
The world has been developed by those who are willing to challenge science and take it to the next step. STEM careers all work together to solve the world’s problems – and with expected resource shortages this has never been more important. Engineering is the source of everything – without engineers we would not have the means to create medicine, machinery, modern technology, transport systems… The list is endless.
The importance of the Women’s Engineering Society
The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and similar societies in my eyes should not have to exist to break down barriers or prove a point that women are as good as any man at engineering. Without the women during WWII, Spitfires and Hurricane aircraft would not have been built. It is disappointing that there are proportionally, so few women in engineering. We need to present and be good role models for girls. We need to let them know that engineering is not just about getting dirty.
My career within the REME is to commission as a Reserves Officer to lead teams of technical soldiers. Within the BLOODHOUND Project it’s to continue to inspire the next generation into STEM careers. Lastly, within education I want to finish my BSc and study for an MSc. After that it’s a career in the aerospace industry.