I'm the only girl left...... COME ON THE GIRLS!! :D
Whilst studying at Newcastle University I used to be a Supervisor in Primark! I also did a lot of sports volunteering and got involved with Engineers without Borders!
I’m a PhD student – that means to do lots of research into new engineering subjects!
University of Sheffield
As a Civil Engineer – I’m researching how a structures foundations can be used to produce renewable heat and energy from the ground!!
I’m on a course called E-Futures, which means in my 1st year at Sheffield I got to learn all about different types of Renewable Energy (energy that doesn’t come from coal, oil or gas!). I learnt a little bit, about lots of ways, of making renewable energy, things like wind turbines and solar panels. I also got to do a few projects on how sustainable and environmentally friendly, the London 2012 Olympics was going to be and compared London to the other cities to have hosted the Olympic Games. This meant I could learn about renewable energy and suitability whilst studying a project I was really enthusiastic about!
Now I’m in my 2nd year, I’ve started my longer project. I’m looking at foundations for structures (the parts of a structure which is below the ground and keeps it from sinking into the ground) to see if there are ways which we can take the heat from the ground, provided by the sun, and use it to keep our buildings warm!
My Typical Day
My day is generally a bit of a mix between reading books and journals along with working in the labs….it normally ends with sport of some kind too!
I generally get out of bed around 8am…and head into uni for 9ish!
I start the day by checking my emails and write a to-do-list whilst drinking a cup of tea – I like to try to be a little bit organised!
By mid-morning it’s time to start the day really begins….if I have experiments running I’ll check on those, and make sure they haven’t blown up or anything!
Then the rest of the day is filled with reading reports and journals, writing reports, meeting with my project supervisor. Occasionally, I’ll help out teaching some of the undergraduate students with tutorials or lab work.
Every so often, I’ll go to a conference to meet with other people who are studying the same subject as me so we can talk about what we have been doing and learn from what everyone else has been doing. It’s also a good opportunity to visit new places.
My day usually finishes about 5pm. Outside of university I like to play netball, meet with friends, do some cooking and get involved with volunteering projects!
The majority of the money will be use to develop a workshop allowing schools to come to the University of Sheffield and learn more about what goes on under a building and how we can produce energy from the ground. Giving an understanding to the importance of geotechnical engineering whilst giving a hands feel to what being a geotechnical engineer is like at university!
Alongside my PhD, I volunteer for the national charity Engineers without Borders (www.ewb-uk.org) so I’d like to donate the remainder of the winnings to their University of Sheffield branch to be used on the schools outreach projects (http://www.ewb-outreach.org.uk/). This money would allow them to visit more schools to teach more young people about some of the problems in developing countries, such as lack of clean drinking water, poor toilet facilities, and transport problems. This would be done by running workshops like ‘Water for the World’ and ‘Going in the distance’. It would also be amazing if they could use some of the money to create a new workshop on environmental problems like recycling in poorer countries.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Enthusiastic, organised and Geordie!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I’m a massive fan of Coldplay and Florence and the Machine….but secretly I love Steps, Busted and the Spice Girls!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Volunteered as a Games Maker for London 2012 – it was AMAZING!
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be an architect right up until apply to university, it was then I found out an architect needed to be slightly arty…..Ops!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Never – I was always in the teachers good books! I was a bit of a nerd (or Swot as I used to get called!)
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
Hhmmm…… I don’t think I’ve done 1 best thing, I’ve been on a lot of site visits, and done some exciting labs – ask me about them and I might tell you more!
Tell us a joke.
What do you get if you cross a chicken with a cement mixer?………… A brick layer!
Why is Geotechnical Engineering important? Fingers crossed we can stop things like this happening!
As part of my research I’m using transparent soil to show how heat travels though the ground, this is a photo of my set up in the lab.