Faculty of Engineering
 
Three silhouette of people in front of multiple cogs.

Women in engineering 

 

Just being me: an engineer

Being yourself is sometimes hard. Society can often impose labels and stereotypes that just should not exist. As engineers we often hear “it’s a boy thing” or “that’s great to hear that you are a woman in engineering”. 

We are not women engineers… We are engineers and just as equal as anyone else is. We are hardworking, creative, innovative, critical thinkers. We work to solve tomorrow’s problems today. 

As engineers, we are an inclusive community ready to welcome you warmly. Diversity is a necessity; diverse teams produce better solutions and creative approaches.

 

 Bronze

We've been awarded Bronze Race Equality Charter status

Race Equality Chater status

 

1st

engineering department in the country to be awarded an Athena SWAN Gold award

Athena Swan

 

2nd

highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation

Institute for Fiscal Studies data 

 
 

Our engineers

Hana Makhlouf

Hana Makhlouf

Programme studying

Why did you choose to become an engineer?

From a young age, I have loved experimenting with different technologies and understanding how I can use computers to build new and exciting things. At age 14, my friend and I started building websites and actually monetised a few by selling them to local businesses. I was also one of the students, and one of only two girls, to help establish the computer programming club at my school.

My love for the field of computing and mathematics guided me towards pursuing an undergraduate degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering.

What is it like being an engineer?

I don’t think there is one way of describing what it’s like to be an engineer and, in my opinion, that’s why the field is so exciting.

For me, being an engineer means learning new things every day. Not learning in the traditional sense of a classroom environment but learning through everything around me. Wherever I go, I can see engineering innovations and the impact they have on the world.

I also think that engineering unites people through presenting challenges that seem unsolvable. Through diversity of thought and experience, engineers are able to come together to create, innovate and find solutions to these challenges.

Who is your engineering hero?

I have many engineering heroes.

Growing up, I did not know many female engineering figures so, from a young age, Steve Wozniak was my engineering hero. Wozniak, also known as Woz, is the co-founder of Apple and the engineering mastermind behind the Apple computer.

He is one of the main reasons I decided to study computer engineering. I was fortunate enough to meet him at a young age at a local symposium, where I had the opportunity to speak with him briefly.

Now, I see engineering heroes around me everywhere. From Gladys West to Juliana Rotich, I feel motivated and inspired by their journeys. I also feel hopeful that the next generation of engineers will have many role models and ‘heroes’ to look up to.

 
Ángela Lendínez Torres

Ángela Lendínez Torres

Programme studied

Programme studying

Why did you choose to become an engineer?

I’ve always been good at maths, physics and chemistry. I don’t like memorising things that someone has said or done. I would rather understand why something is how it is. The reason behind it. I chose to become an Aerospace Engineer because I’ve always wondered why do airplanes fly. Additionally, that degree in particular offers a big diversity of modules on different areas, which I thought would provide me with a wider knowledge and open more doors in the future.

What is it like being an engineer?

It really depends on the day. Some days it’s not that great, when you are stuck looking for a solution to something that seems to be impossible. However, other days it’s just great, like when you manage to solve a problem that has been bothering you for days. The most important thing is to be patient and keep working on it, as people said “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Just trust the process and give your best every day.

Who makes a good engineer?

Anyone curious enough to wonder why something is the way it is, wanting to explore and discover new things every day. You need to be ambitious, think big but critically, be able to communicate your ideas and make the best out of them.

Who is your engineering hero?

My engineering hero is Stephanie Louise Kwolek. She is an American chemist who invented Kevlar, a composite material five times as strong as steel. It is mainly used in bullet-proof vest production, among other products such as helmets, snow skis or fibre-optic cables. This was an unexpected discovery, the solution didn’t look as it should, but Stephanie rather than rejecting it, decided to investigate it. This truly inspires me as you could end up making a breakthrough just by being curious enough. She is also the recipient of numerous US patents. Additionally, she received several awards for her investigations such as the Chemical Pioneer Award from the American Institute of Chemists.

 
 
Salomé Sanchez

Salomé Sanchez

Programme studied

Programme studying

Why did you choose to become an engineer?

I was not sure what I wanted to do after school. I wanted to have a job where I would be able to help society and work anywhere in the world. During an insight week in high school I visited an engineering company and I realised that you can do many different types of jobs with an engineering degree. So I chose to study mechanical engineering as it would open the doors to many opportunitites around the world.

What is it like being an engineer?

As an engineer, I feel like I can make a difference in the world. By understanding how things work, engineers are able to come up with solutions to problems, improve the way things work and make the world a better place. I feel really proud to be an engineer.

Who makes a good engineer?

For me, engineers are people who focus on finding practical solutions to problems. From designing a chair to finding ways to reduce emissions in engines, engineering is constantly improving our daily lives. So a good engineer cares about helping people, improving things and has good scientific reasoning to solve problems.

Who is your engineering hero?

I find most engineers from before the age of computers very impressive and inspiring. The fact that they made so many engineering feats from aqueducts and boats to cross oceans, to sending a man on the moon with only pen, paper and their brains is really incredible.

Find out more about Salomé Sanchez

 
Hannah Rosenbaum

Hannah Rosenbaum

Programme Studying

MEng Aerospace Engineering

What attracted you to study engineering?

Throughout my school education, my best and favourite subjects had always been maths, physics and art. I had always had a natural curiosity for how things work, understanding the mechanisms behind something and using that to solve problems. I didn’t realise I wanted to do engineering for a long time, I had previously wanted to study architecture or genetics at university. It was at university open days that I was drawn to the subject. The engineering careers fairs were exciting and involved problem solving tasks and activities. After attending many more open days and looking into the different types of engineering, I discovered the aerospace sector and knew instantly that this was where I wanted to work. 

What makes a good engineer?

If you are interested in maths and physics, and like understanding why things work and solving problems, then engineering is definitely a great career option for you. Applying skills and knowledge to solve problems makes for an interesting work day, you‘ll likely be working on lots of different projects rather than doing the same thing every day. It is a discipline that will always be in demand and will give you skills and experience which can be transferrable across many sectors within engineering.

Who is your engineering hero?

I met Sophie Harker at a women in engineering event at the IET in 2019. She graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2014, and just five years later won The IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award. She gave a talk about her journey and explained how she is determined to become an astronaut. I don’t want to become an astronaut, but her journey still inspired me a lot, and I felt that I could relate closely to her time as a graduate, and hope to one day find myself working in the space sector too.

Find out more about Hannah Rosenbam

 
 
Raveena Karia

Raveena Karia

Course Studying

MEng Aerospace Engineering

What attracted you to study engineering?

I have always been interested in engineering, and when I was younger, I would try building things around my house. After reading a little bit more about the different engineering pathways you could take, I found it really fascinating how much aircraft's have changed over the last century or so, and how engineering has become part of everyone’s daily lives. 

What do you enjoy most about being an engineer?

Engineering is constantly evolving and you learn something new every day. Having worked in industry, I learnt that although the same principles are being applied, every project is different and customer requirements always vary. Engineering is applied in our everyday lives and working in the field will give you the chance to be an innovator, a trailblazer and also inspire others to follow in the same footsteps.

Who is your engineering hero?

I find inspiration in a variety of different things! However, I have especially found inspiration from individuals who worked in engineering that are advocates for diversity and inclusion. These individuals ranging from women and members of the LGBTQ+ community, to individuals with disabilities and members of ethnic minorities, have been able to push through stereotypes and advocate for equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. Although we have not reached complete equality, it has been their support and perseverance that has helped inspire and motivate individuals to pursue engineering today.

Find out more about Raveena Karia

 
Sophie Whitworth stood on the steeps at Proctor and Gamble outside the Gillette building.

Sophie Whitworth

Course studied

MEng Chemical Engineering

What attracted you to studying engineering?

At the beginning of sixth form, I hadn’t considered engineering and had a few different degree options shortlisted. Once I began to research what was out there, I discovered engineering. It appealed to me mainly because I wanted to study a degree with practical applications which has good career prospects. I remember reading through the whynotchemeng page on IChemE and realised how diverse and varied engineering really is – even now I’m still shocked at the scope of job opportunities, it can take you anywhere.

What makes a good engineer?

If you enjoy exploring the way things work and have a passion for solving problems, you should consider studying and working in engineering. The wide range of opportunities at the end of an engineering degree means it is a great path for anyone looking to study a subject with both practical and theoretical applications. Equally, you could decide to take advantage of the graduate employment prospects and enter a different field. The skills developed on an engineering course are highly sought-after.

Who is your engineering hero?

I am always inspired by women who have excelled in an industrial setting despite the challenges/gender stereotypes faced previously. it is admirable and we have them to thank for challenging this and setting the example for a more diverse future. Engineering is becoming more diverse due to outreach in STEM and changing attitudes, but there is still a way to go. I am inspired by those who dedicate their time to promoting a fairer industry for all and this is something I will continue to participate in. 

Find out more about Sophie Whitworth

 
 

 

Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD



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