Senior Flight Systems Engineer

I grew up in Freckleton, which is close to the Warton site in Lancashire. As a child, I saw the Tornado, Typhoon and Hawk aircraft flying from the airfield and going over my home and found the sight of these thundering planes really exciting and inspiring. At school I loved maths and solving problems and puzzles, and as I got older found that I liked the challenge that engineering presents, so I always thought that working at BAE Systems and on these aircraft would be a great career match for me.

I started working at BAE Systems in 2015 as a graduate, however, my first role was in procurement not in engineering. I had worked for a local aerospace company in a procurement role whilst completing my engineering degree so this felt like a logical move, but engineering kept calling to me. Fortunately the leadership team at BAE Systems listened and supported my transition to engineering, valuing the different perspective offered by the procurement and business knowledge I had gained.

I currently work on the Tempest programme, which is focused on developing future technology and capability across UK industry. In the last 3 years I have worked on the design and integration of propulsion systems, ice detection systems, fire protection systems and flight control systems. In previous roles I have been involved in Weapons Integration and Avionics support roles on Typhoon.

My current position on Tempest is undoubtedly the most inspiring to date – it’s brilliant to be involved in the early stages of the design lifecycle and know that the contribution I am making today will influence the future of aerospace for years to come. I work with a diverse and inclusive team that is made up of people from many different backgrounds, spans the full age demographic (from school leavers to those about to retire), and has a good gender mix. It feels like family, we all have different experiences and get along, which is nice. I honestly feel that BAE Systems embraces diversity and inclusion, encouraging people from different backgrounds and with different experiences to join the business. The company has an inviting culture and is welcoming, engaging and inspiring, which is why I have chosen to stay here

The opportunities that the graduate programme has given have been brilliant, particularly in terms of personal development. In addition to the on-the-job experience I have attended a variety of courses, building my technical skills as well as improving team working skills, while also allowing me to understand own personal characteristics and preferences.

The graduate programme has also allowed me to meet people from different sites, learning what they do and growing my network across the business, which really helps you at the early stages of your career. I have had support and guidance from the business and the team around me, helping me to work towards professional registration and continue my professional development journey.

I am also a STEM ambassador, supporting schools and graduates to help promote the role of women in engineering, overcoming the stereotypes of what once may have been seen as a male-dominated career.

I feel fortunate to have found a career that I find challenging and rewarding and want others to consider roles within the aerospace industry. Some people, including family members, don't understand the importance of the defence sector in protecting the nation and our way of life in the UK. I have had some difficult conversations explaining the value of high tech jobs to the economy and the significance of maintaining our sovereign defence capability. I have always stayed true to my beliefs that I'm protecting the nation and helping defend it.

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