St Bede's School in Redhill, University of Bath (for my first degree), and University of Leeds (for my PhD research)
10 GCSEs in a mix of subjects, including history, child development, and drama. A levels in French, Chemistry, Maths & Further Maths. A degree (MEng) in Chemical Engineering
Since becoming an engineer, I worked for a couple of years in the oil & gas industry before going back to university to do research in renewable energy. I've just returned into industry, working in renewable energy. I have also done short placements working in Parliaments in London and Cardiff, helping politicians to understand science.
Project technician (carbon capture and storage)
I work for Drax, a big company that makes and sells electricity.
I work at one of Drax’s power stations, but Drax has many other parts to its business. Some parts of the business sell power to business and homes. Other parts manage the supply of all the fuel we need, finding, trading and transporting huge quantities of fuel in large ships and trains.
I live in Yorkshire with my boyfriend, who I will be marrying this summer, and our cat Daisy. We love to go cycling and exploring in the lovely countryside around here. I also enjoy the aerial hoop – a bit like gymnastics, but in a hoop that dangles from the ceiling! I also love to travel – my job has allowed me to live in and travel to lots of places, including Taiwan, Sweden and New Zealand.
I design ways to 'capture' the greenhouse gas emissions from a power plant, so that we can fight climate change.
I am a chemical engineer, and at the moment I am working for a large power station that provides enough power for 1.5 million homes. It is the UK’s largest source of renewable energy. I am in the innovation team, finding ways to make the power station even more sustainable so that we can continue to provide renewable electricity long into the future. I work on ‘carbon capture and storage’, a technology that captures greenhouse gas emissions and locks them safely underground so that they can’t cause climate change. I support business start-ups who want to test their technology at a real power station. I also work on engineering designs for a big project – so I do engineering at both a really tiny and a really big scale.
Previously, I was doing research at university (a PhD). I was researching the types of energy and chemical products which can be made from biological sources (such as wood, waste, and crops). For instance, we can take waste from sewage plants and turn it into methane to power our buses. Bioenergy is a great source of energy as it can provide renewable electricity, but also heat and chemical products too.
I love working in the energy sector, because energy is so vital to our daily lives. You don’t only think about only technical things but all sorts of other things too, like business, politics and people. That’s what makes it tricky to get right, but also what makes it really interesting to learn about.
My Typical Day: I start work at 8.30am, and finish at 4.45pm. I spend lots of time having meetings, often with people all over the world. We collaborate together to solve complicated problems. Between meetings, I spend time thinking about how to design really big chemical processes, researching and testing new ideas. If we weren't in lock-down, I'd also spend some time out on the power plant. We have an area that is testing brand new technologies, so I often go out on-site to talk to the companies that work there and see how I can help them.
What I'd do with the money
Develop a great outreach activity for me and colleagues to teach people about climate change.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Friendly, adventurous, engineer
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Travel - I went to a conference in Taiwan, which was so much fun to explore. I especially loved all the night markets & delicious food.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Some really supportive teachers - they helped me find work experience & gave me their old university textbooks. I will never forget how kind they were!
What was your favourite subject at school?
I used to love English, but as I got older I started to enjoy Maths a lot more.
What did you want to be after you left school?
All sorts! A writer, a ballerina, an archaeologist, a pharmacist….
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No I was a goody-two-shoes. I was the kid who cried when the whole class got told off!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Hmm, perhaps I would be a teacher. I love working with people and helping them to understand new things.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I love Ben Howard – it brings back some great memories of travelling.
What's your favourite food?
Roast dinner, always!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
White water rafting in New Zealand.
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a dinosaur with no eyes? Do-you-think-he-saurus.