Inspiring Future Generations of Female Engineers

This week we have been highlighting the work of our female engineers, gaining an insight into their background and career journeys. Today, Angie McKinney shares with us her role as a Principal Engineer at JBA and what she would like to see for future generations of female engineers.

What is your job title and role at JBA?

Principal Engineer. I lead the Appraisal and Engineering team in Skipton which delivers flood risk management and environmental projects from feasibility through to construction.

What is a typical day like in your role?

There’s no such thing as a typical day, no two days are ever the same which is great because I never get bored. I spend a lot of time collaborating and talking to people. A normal day would normally involve client meetings where I will present on project progression and lead discussions to resolve key issues. I will generally check in with team members individually to discuss workload and resolve technical questions. When I do have time to sit down and do some work this can range from developing bids for new work, technical review of designs, and financial/commercial project management.

Why did you choose a career in Engineering?

I actually didn’t understand what engineering was when I was making early career choices but I was drawn to the industry by pursuing science and geology-based subjects, as that’s where my interests were. I’m a natural problem solver and don’t automatically take no for an answer, which also helps.

What does the future hold for women in Engineering?

Although there are a lot more women in engineering than there ever used to be, there is still a huge gender imbalance, particularly at senior levels. This can only be resolved by continuing to recruit and develop female engineers, which I actively support and encourage through the provision of mentoring and supporting professional development.

What is your favourite innovative project that you have worked on?

I am a huge advocate of sustainability in engineering and one of my most significant achievements in this area has been leading the design of a £3M screen replacement project in Sheffield. This project installed an automated raking system that generated >700t carbon savings. I ensured that sustainability was considered from the start of the project and was able to add value through environmental enhancements e.g. urban green space and improved fish passage, with the project going on to win an industry award. I have recently led the design of natural flood management schemes, it has been exciting to have the opportunity to work in a relatively new and growing area of flood risk management.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to explore a career in engineering?

Go for it! It’s such an interesting and varied career, with many different pathways to explore. It’s hugely rewarding and you can make a real difference in the world. I enjoy the problem-solving element and the ability to be able to make your mark on the world – to be able to look at a structure and say that you were involved in building it is a very satisfying feeling.

Want to know more?

If you want to find out more about a career in Engineering at JBA, check out our webpage. Or contact Angie McKinney for more information about her role.

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