I chose engineering because I've always loved maths and physics, I can see it in everything around me and from that moment I knew engineering was for me. Aerospace because I did a week's work experience at an engineering company and they had a range of engineers there and I would ask them which one (type of engineering) would you choose and they'd always say aerospace because of the amount of engineering it encompasses from mechanical to electrical to computer programming.
So far on the course I have really loved the challenge academically because I always love a challenge. The people I've met have been incredible from inspiring tutors to like-minded students: we help each other out all the time balancing each other's strengths and weaknesses and working together to try and get this pretty difficult degree.
Once I’ve graduated I'd like to carry on this movement of getting more women into engineering so when I say to someone ‘I'm an aerospace engineer’ I want them to stop raising their eyebrows and being shocked - I want it to be a norm and for people not to be surprised by what I do
Recently a friend recommended me to apply for the female undergraduate of the year award so I thought, I have nothing to lose, and applied online through online tests and questions not thinking anything would come of it and I found I'd made it to the top 20 from over 600 applicants. This award was sponsored by Rolls-Royce and they offered me a 10-week internship which I've been really enjoying. It's a fascinating experience being within such a large company and I've dealt with people from assemblers, creating the engines, all the way up to directors within the engineering departments. I've learned so much and it's really opened opportunities for my future.
The reason I feel I managed to get through to the top 20 and then the top 10 was because of the range of activities I involve myself with here in Sheffield. I'm part of the army officer training corps so I'm off training every other weekend with the army and I also love adventure training so I do climbing with them. I'm also part of the women in engineering society and its this range and this roundness that it's given me that I believe has allowed me to make it all the way through.
I know that I'd like to work with innovation and something that's going to help people and develop life in society. Whether that's within a large company or within a small start-up I don't know but something I do know what to do once I’ve graduated is carry on this movement of getting more women into engineering so when I say to someone ‘I'm an aerospace engineer’ I want them to stop raising their eyebrows and being shocked - I want it to be a norm and for people not to be surprised by what I do.
The best thing about being an engineering student is the amount of opportunity that's out there for me as engineering is a global trade. I could take my knowledge from here and take it anywhere in the world and it would still apply. For example I'm off to study a year in America next year before I come back to do my masters. Another thing is the pride I feel when I'm able to tell people that I'm an engineer and also the opportunity it is going to give me to help and improve people's lives all over the world.
The best thing about being an engineering student is the amount of opportunity that's out there for me as engineering is a global trade. I could take my knowledge from here and take it anywhere in the world and it would still apply
Dr Jo Shien Ng
Royal Society University Research Fellow, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
Senior Lecturer, Bioengineering
PhD student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield
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