was interested in studying engineering from an early age. I remember driving down a road with my dad saying “I helped design this”. This caught my attention and made me think I wanted to do the same. There are not many professions where you get to leave your mark on the world, with your designs actually being built.
At Llanfyllin High School I studied Maths, Physics, History, Geography and Chemistry A-Levels. All of which I have found to be of use in engineering. In year 12 I participated in EESW and our school group was assigned a project set by the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), in Machynlleth. Our project brief was to design a log transporting system to be used in their eco-cabins. The log store was in the basement of the cabins whereas the fires were upstairs. A system was needed to ease the log carrying process, using human power alone. Working as a team we were able to develop a system based on bicycle power and a conveyor belt.
I thoroughly enjoyed the EESW project. The University workshop was an eye opener to university life, and the design process allowed me to see all the trials and tribulations associated with group work. There was great satisfaction when everything came together and our project was successful. Our system, although slightly modified, is in place and used regularly at the Centre.
Whilst taking part in the EESW project, I was told about the Year in Industry (YINI) scheme. I knew that I wanted to do something between leaving school and going to university, and the scheme sounded ideal. It would give me an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the career I wished to go into and determine whether it was the right choice for me. I secured a placement with Mott MacDonald, a global management, engineering and development consultancy company, working within their Bridges and Infrastructure department at their Birmingham office.
I really enjoyed my 10 months spent at Mott MacDonald. I found that within a few weeks I was already involved in one of their major projects, working with London Midland on a car park redevelopment programme. I found that my role within the project developed, and I gained more and more responsibilities. I was involved in some project management and also the ‘go to’ for design. I was also able to strengthen my mathematics skills, a vital part to engineering, whilst at work and by completing a mathematics course supported by YINI. I attended a Management Skills Workshop, this allowed me to not only meet other people carrying out a Year in Industry, but also to develop my management skills, something which I have found of great use at University.
After completing my placement, I came to Cardiff University to study Civil Engineering. I am currently a Student Ambassador with EESW; this is a great chance for me to support students with their projects and to impart advice and my own personal experiences. I look forward to working with STEM Cymru throughout my time at Cardiff, and hopefully continuing these links when I go into industry.