• Question: What was the process that led to being an engineer

    Asked by Shlok to Polly, Jonathan on 17 Nov 2023.
    • Photo: Jonathan Allen

      Jonathan Allen answered on 17 Nov 2023:

      It all started when I was very young and wanted to know how my toys worked – so I would take them apart and try to put them back together again. This often didn’t work very well so I had to keep trying until I got it right. I didn’t know it then, but this is engineering – problem solving again and again until I find the answer. I then studied maths and sciences at school and found I really enjoyed them. This led me to get GCSEs in maths, physics, chemistry and biology – and I took maths and physics forwards to A-levels. After school I took a year out to work in a factory to see what ‘real’ engineering was like before going to university. I did two university degrees in engineering (MEng and PhD) and worked in different engineering companies during my school holidays. After I finished university I joined my current company and worked on lots of different engineering projects to get better and better – and I’m still learning new things every day today!

    • Photo: Polly Osborne

      Polly Osborne answered on 17 Nov 2023:

      I only found out what an engineer was when I was 24 years old! At that age I got back from travelling and was looking for a job. I wanted to do something to tackle climate change so I thought renewable energy would be a good thing to work on. I was volunteering for a charity whilst looking for a job, and through that I met someone who was looking to hire people into their electrical engineering company. So I joined that company and they paid for me to do an electrical engineering foundation degree at the same time as working. Since then I’ve been working for 7 years and gradually I’ve pushed to work on more projects which help deliver low-carbon energy connections. Careers are much wigglier than I originally thought! There isn’t just one way to become an engineer 🙂