For 2022, we’re looking towards the future with the theme #ImagineTheFuture, focusing on the inventors and innovators who will change the industry for the better. We spoke to some of the incredible women in engineering at the ESO to hear what inspired them and how they would inspire the next generation.
Beth Ashton is a Power System Engineer in our Operability Intelligence team within Networks.
What inspired you to be an engineer? I saw Geordi La Forge in Star Trek, and I thought, "I really relate to this character. If he can be an engineer, so can I."
Some people were very surprised that I wanted to be an engineer because of my gender. I thought this was a silly perspective and went on to pursue a career in engineering.
How will you inspire the engineers of the future? As engineers, we build. We imagine the way the world is going to be tomorrow, next year, or in 5 years. I want to help build a new world. Do you?
Noraisha Yusof is a Power Systems Engineer in the Connection Operability Assessment Team, within Network Operability. Her role involves enabling new customers to connect to the East Anglia and South Coast areas of the electricity transmission network.
What inspired you to be an engineer? I became an engineer by accident! My academic background is in mathematics but during my final year at university, I wasn’t set on any particular career path. I didn’t have any engineering experience prior to Grid but wanted to work in an environment which allowed creativity, had clear ‘real-life’ applications and would challenge me.
How will you inspire the engineers of tomorrow? As a Power Systems Engineer on the Gas and Electricity networks, I’ve worked on innovative projects, collaborated with a range of customers, and worked right across the business to help solve engineering challenges. This has helped develop my technical, business and people skills.
I would strongly encourage those without a ‘traditional’ engineering background to explore opportunities in this field – with the right mentoring and development, it could be a career choice that has much to offer.
Melike Ayaz is a Power Systems Engineer in our Network Operability team.
What inspired you to be an engineer? I was always interested in science and maths during school. An Electrical and Electronics engineering degree followed my interest and skills. I continued my master education as a power system engineer and my passion towards research lead me to pursue a PhD at the University of Manchester.
My main inspiration was to be part of sustainable and flexible future of electricity and to contribute solving real life engineering problems with the advanced renewable energy technologies.
How will you inspire the engineers of tomorrow? Power system engineering is an exciting career to contribute to sustainable and flexible future of electricity.
I would say definitely challenge yourself, take part in the vast fields of choices in sector to meet needs, commit to overcome challenges. Gain soft skills e.g. communication, organisation, how you manage and work within a team. Volunteer for professional organisations to enhance your skills by working with mentors and meet with people working across several organisations. And don’t forget to believe in yourself!
Cathy Fraser is a Systems, Support & Insight Manager within ESO National Control.
What inspired you to become an engineer? My family don’t throw much away and my dad was always fixing things around the house with odd screws and pieces of wood that he’d saved for just that particular moment. He helped me take apart my radio to fix it and I found those inner pieces fascinating. So from there I focused on how things worked – getting to the inner workings and explaining it to others. I’m not the best on fixing things, but I’m pretty good at taking them apart! When it came to looking for a career – engineering just felt right, it had the structure and order that I wanted and you can’t argue with the laws of physics!
How will you inspire the engineers of tomorrow? Good role models for the next generation are key – it’s not just seeing engineers but young people having role models who encourage them to explore their options and find experiences that help them decide whether engineering is right for them.
Whenever I speak to young people about engineering I like to tell them it’s about interest and passion and finding something in there that ignites their interest - engineering has such a huge range of options within it, there is something for everyone! There is also no “typical” engineer – the preconception that you need to be good at specific subjects isn’t necessarily true.
It’s about making opportunities visible and available to the next generation – be that through work experience, visiting schools or volunteering with organisations aiming to inspire young people.
Tatiana Assis is a Power Systems Engineer in our Operability team.
What inspired you to be an engineer? My passion for physics and maths inspired me to become an engineer, but the real driving force was my curiosity for how things work.
How will you inspire the engineers of tomorrow? Engineering is in absolutely everything and has the power to transform and to create the world we will live in today and tomorrow.
At National Grid ESO, we need people with passion and potential to help us win the race against climate change. Find out how you can work with us here.