Women in Engineering | Alison Stresses STEM Appeal

Alison Charles
James Kenealey

by James Kenealey on

Alison Charles has worked for engineering design consultancy Morson Projects for many years. The daughter of a French teacher and an art teacher, stress engineer Alison Charles is breaking the family mould with her career at Morson. She’s also proving that you don’t have to work in a traditionally ‘creative’ sector to have a job that involves creative thinking. 

“I never enjoyed subjects that involved essay writing at school. I always preferred things like maths where the answers were black or white. As a result I studied maths and physics at ‘A’ Level and went to the University of Leeds to do a Mechanical Engineering degree. My friends and family were quite surprised about my choice of degree because I think there’s still a perception that engineering involves getting your hands dirty onsite. In fact, I work in a comfortable office and one of the things I love about my job is that it combines my maths skills with design requirements and a creative approach to finding engineering solutions.” 

After starting her career with Morson on the aviation engineering team, Alison moved onto an Energy from Waste (EfW) project in Derby as a stress engineer. She is currently working on the decommissioning of Dounreay Nuclear Power Station, calculating the effects of different forces and loads on pipe work to assess how the pipes will respond in a real world installation, specifically considering dynamic effects due to a seismic event. 

“I’ve been with Morson for six years now and in that time I have worked on three different aircraft and two different pipe stress projects. With lots of nuclear projects on the horizon, there’s plenty of scope for career development as a pipe stress engineer and I’m really enjoying the problem solving, analysis and creative thinking required for the job.” 

Indeed, Alison enjoys her job in engineering so much that she is keen to encourage other young people to pursue similar career paths, particularly girls. 

“When I was at university, male students massively outnumbered female students on my course. There were just four female students out of a total of 100! There was a feeling that we had to prove ourselves and, though old-fashioned attitudes to women in engineering are changing gradually, there’s still a lot to be done to alter perceptions and break down stereotypes so that girls feel confident about aiming for a career in engineering and no-one’s surprised about the jobs female engineers do.”  

Alison is taking an active role in bringing about that culture change. She has been appointed as a STEM ambassador as part of a programme designed to encourage young people to enjoy STEM subjects, supporting teachers in the classroom by explaining current applications in industry or research.

“Around 40 per cent of STEM ambassadors are women because so many women in STEM-based sectors are evangelical about the variety of careers available and the opportunities for young women. I recently attended an International Day of the Girl event at the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester in my capacity as a STEM Ambassador, explaining simple aviation engineering concepts to visitors. Young girls are really engaged and excited about opportunities in engineering and, hopefully, within the next few decades we’ll see much more gender parity in the sector.”

Find our more about our work with diversity here

Cx Jobs

Project Manager

Are you an experienced Project Manager? Do you want to work for a company that is demonstrating sustained periods of growth, as well as having a solid order book of more work to come? Do you want to work for a company that offers autonomy, along with the freedom to develop in your career? Then Vital want to speak to you.Vital resources are currently working with a reputable and well established Civils and Groundworks contractor to assist them in their search for a new Project Manager. Our client is looking for someone who can demonstrate a background in Civils and Infrastructure projectsAs an experienced Manager your responsibilities will include but are not limited to:Daily management of various civil projects within the portfolio of workLeading successful contract delivery, ensuring the site team are fully appraised of the contract parametersInvolvement of projects at all stages from Pre-Qualifying and tendering through to completionEnsuring contracts are executed in accordance with client requirementThe successful applicant for this role will be able to demonstrate:Background in a similar positionPrevious experience working within groundworks, deep drainage and, cut & fill works.Degree educated (or similar)Full UK Licence as travel to sites will be requiredAbility to work alone with minimal supervisionFor this our client is willing to offer a competitive salary along with a comprehensive package.If you would like more information, please apply or contact Jamie Nicholson using the below details

Project Manager

Morson have an exciting vacancy for a Project Manager based in Yeovil for one of our Aerospace Clients. Job DescriptionThe Project Manager is responsible for the successful delivery of the defined Project with authority and responsibility from the Programme Manager to run the project on a day-to-day basis.Key Job Accountabilities Include:The project manager is responsible for leading and managing the project team with responsibility and authority from the Programme Manager or Sponsor on a day-to-day basis. Delivering the project to schedule, cost and quality.Interfacing between the project and functional business areas to achieve the overall Project deliverables. Demonstrate good communication and encouragement across functional business areas, for change.Effective co-ordination of the project and the inter dependencies into the overall Programme or as an independent small project, including resolution or mitigation of any risks and issues arising during the project. Supported by the Programme Management office.Ensuring all activities are carried out in accordance with policies, and processes.Ensuring delivery of contract life cycle relevant to accountable project.Managing and production of the required deliverables proactively monitoring its progress, resolving issues and initiating appropriate corrective action to achieve quality and schedule within budget.Planning, designing and monitoring the project, preparing any project plans as required. Please contact us for more information.

Visual Modeller

Our Client is developing a virtual aircraft maintenance trainer at its Dalgety Bay facility in Fife. The software solution exploits an existing in-house product capability called VoRTEX (Virtual Reality Training Executive). The VoRTEX core software provides the virtual environment, state store and rule set that govern how the user interacts with the platform virtual model. To run with the VoRTEX core, the project is creating the specific behaviour and 3D visual models for the relevant aircraft systems.The role will primarily focus on creating real-time textured 3D objects to be incorporated into a highly detailed aircraft with opening panels and removable parts. The source data will usually comprise very high polygon count CAD files that need to be optimised then textured. This will mostly be done manually because automated tools usually create unacceptable artefacts. Some objects will be created from photographs and measurements only. Applicants with full-time experience creating 3D assets for games or military simulators will have an advantage. The applicant should provide a portfolio or examples of work. Skills (essential):3D Modelling and texturing/shading of real time assets based on real world reference materials;Ensuring that all models produced are optimised for performance, taking into consideration the limitations of the target system;Ability to work in a team setting, working to deadlines and time constraints. Skills (desirable):Understanding of baking textures, generating specular / normal maps and physically based shading;Pro-actively contributes to improvement of production pipeline;General knowledge of rigging, lighting, animation and rendering techniques;Can develop MEL / Maxscript tools;Traditional art drawing skills;Knowledge and experience of using JIRA for task management. Tools (essential):3D Modelling - Autodesk Maya preferred, also 3DS Max (pure CAD software experience is unsuitable);Texturing - Adobe Photoshop CC expertise. Tools (desirable):Texturing - 3D painting software experience is useful;Game Engine - Unity 3D preferred, also Unreal Engine.

Site Manager

Are you an experienced Site Manager? Do you want to work for a company that is demonstrating sustained periods of growth, as well as having a solid order book of more work to come? Do you want to work for a company that offers autonomy, along with the freedom to develop in your career? Then Vital want to speak to you.Vital resources are currently working with a reputable and well established multi-disciplined contractor to assist them in their search for a new Site Manager. Our client is looking for someone who can demonstrate a background in Rail, Water, Civils, or Infrastructure projectsAs an experienced Manager your responsibilities will include but are not limited to:Daily management of groundworks packages in the central Belt of ScotlandOrganise and Purchase on Site Labour, Materials, and PlantLiaise with the commercial teams and other operational teams to ensure projects are delivered in a timely, and cost effective manner.Organise and Chair meetings with clients and senior management.The successful applicant for this role will be able to demonstrate:Background in a similar positionPrevious experience working within groundworks, deep drainage and, cut & fill works.Experience working as a subcontractor is preferred, but not essentialSMSTS CertifiedFull UK Licence as travel to sites will be requiredAbility to work alone with minimal supervisionFor this our client is willing to offer a competitve salary, along with a comprehensive package.For more information, please contact Jamie Nicholson using the details provided, or click the apply now link.

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