In honour of International Women’s Day 2019, we decided to catch up with Rachel Martin our Project Engineer based at Dalmarnock WwTW.
“There isn’t anyone I couldn’t approach here on site from WGM or the Client, I’ve never come across anyone who has said I am not capable of doing my job because of my gender.I’m proud that my colleagues trust me to confidently carry out my job.”
Tell me a little about yourself and how you started off working for WGM?
Whilst coming to the end of my HND in Measurement and Control Engineering, I applied through the Forth Valley College Modern Apprenticeship programme where I then had to go through aptitude testing and multiple interviews both with the college and WGM.
After completing my HND in Measurement and Control Engineering at Forth Valley College I joined WGM in August 2015 and began my 3-year Modern Apprenticeship in Design and Draughting (SVQ3) which saw me working within multiple departments in various roles such as a Support Project Engineer, Trainee Design Engineer and a Trainee Project Engineer.
What does your typical day look like?
A typical day in my current role as Project Engineer can include the below;
- Preparing project start enablers e.g. procurement/RAMS, ensuring RAMS are to an acceptable standard for client approval.
- Complete supplier tendering accurately and in accordance with deadlines and any associated frameworks.
- Provide delivery support to the project work fronts on site.
- Attend and contribute to internal & external meetings as required.
- Manage sub-contractors where required.
- Interpret and red-line electrical power and control schematics as required and feedback to the design department.
- Prepare accurate and timely documentation for O&M manuals.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy having the opportunity to be site based and view the on-going progress and daily updates which happen on-site. Coming from the design department during my apprenticeship there were things I didn’t fully understand or recognise but seeing it and getting an understanding for it I do believe I have learned a lot out here on site. In my previous role, I wouldn’t have been able to do this as I was only able to view the progress on paper, whereas now I can see how it is actioned and how it appears physically on site.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
One of the most challenging parts about my role is when unexpected circumstances arise and it’s then how you manage and react to those problems to find a suitable solution whilst dealing with deadlines in the background.
What qualities do you think women need to be successful in the engineering industry?
Confidence. Some people become disheartened when they make a bad decision, you need to be able to learn from those mistakes, so you don’t make the same mistakes again in the future. Being able to work in a team is also very important as it is fully a part of my day to day activities as a Project Engineer. Organisational skills as there is a constant need to manage tasks efficiently and effectively.
What would your advice be to women looking to enter this industry?
My advice to any women looking to enter this industry is not to let anyone hold you back, it’s not their decision on what you do with your life or career. Just because you are a woman that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue a career that others wouldn’t consider suitable for yourself. Be confident in yourself in that you will be successful in whichever career path you choose to follow.
What has been your most memorable achievement so far?
My most memorable achievement whilst working at WGM so far would be completing the 3-year Apprenticeship including the SVQ3. This has shown not only the hard work but complete dedication I’ve put in towards developing my knowledge and understanding during the 3-years to better myself in my chosen career path.
What are your future ambitions?
Currently, I’m focussing on continuing to gain as much experience as I can whilst I’m based here at Dalmarnock. I would like to expand my knowledge and gain further training, potentially an HNC/HND in an electrical based area. This is the area I’m not as confident in and this would allow me to be more confident in the decisions I make in the future. I would like to eventually see myself as a Project Manager.