Promoting the importance of encouraging women to choose careers in engineering, eg technology’s Bec Wilkins talks about her journey so far.
“As a child I loved to draw and create models. My uncle worked for a graphic design company and when visiting him at work, I was fascinated by the huge drawing board and wide array of coloured pens that he used for part of his design process. I decided there and then that I wanted to be a designer.
“I applied for a position at university to study industrial design. I figured that by doing this, I would have options to pursue a career in either graphic or industrial design. My initial assumption was that the course would have been heavily technical and that if I didn’t enjoy it I could switch to graphic design, but I loved it - and the course inspired me to pursue a career in engineering.
“My first job out of university was as a model-maker and industrial designer for a large company looking at the pure design of consumer products. From there, I worked for a medical start-up company that was developing an artificial heart. This company needed someone with a broad range of skills and, because of my design degree and experience, I had the perfect range of skills, including industrial design, graphics, model-making and technical skills; this role really established me in the world of engineering.
“At eg technology, I am a design engineer with a focus on human factors and usability. My basic instinct is to think about the end-customer needs – how they are going to use the device, what will their user-experience be – whilst also weighing up the technical and commercial constraints. Changes in technology and the opportunity to keep expanding my knowledge and constantly develop my skills are a welcome challenge. I love working on products that make a difference. Working in engineering, designing and developing medical devices that ultimately improve the lives of people and have a real sense of purpose, is an amazing job!”