Sarah Linnel's story: A road in for women in engineering
Women Engineers From a young age I have been inspired by the aesthetics of structures and have been curious to understand how things work.
When my sister was playing with Barbies, I was designing and creating their house: fully furnished with electric lighting and a functional motorised bike!
I pursued my interest in construction through Design Technology and I was the first pupil in my school to become an Arkwright Scholar, which facilitated networking with other aspiring students.
My experience as a Women in Engineering
I have since discovered that Engineering allows one to work with something tangible. Experiencing a sense of pride and achievement as part of a team and standing back with confidence in your work is something to strive for; I have been fortunate enough to appreciate elements of this during my Year in Industry.
Since September 2013, I have been working for Cundall Johnston and Partners - an international multidisciplinary engineering consultancy. During my office rotation, I have been involved in Building Services, Environmental and Structural Engineering. For 5 months, my work was focused upon government-based work for the Education Funding Agency: creating environmental standards for the Priority Schools Building Programme.
The standards help to produce a learning environment in which students can thrive easily through improved natural daylighting conditions. My work involved producing Climate-based daylight modelling calculations for different school areas, ensuring that they had appropriate conditions for learning.
This enabled my Year in Industry Contribution to the Business Award entry, where I successfully reached the South East semi-finals. The impact of my presentation led to an invitation to become a Year in Industry Ambassador.
A road in for women engineers
Working for Cundall has provided invaluable insight into the reality of the engineering industry and has confirmed my aptitude and passion for engineering design.
Spending my last third of the year with Structures has developed a passion for structural engineering; I’ve become fascinated with the contortion of structural elements to create intrinsically engaging buildings.
Being able to interrogate the structural reinforcement drawings at an office desk and then see the construction of these on site summarised perfectly, to me, the structural lifecycle from design to execution. With this interest, I have been invited to apply for summer internships throughout my Civil and Architectural Engineering degree at Bath University and wish to remain in contact with the connections I have created.
I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the Year in Industry and Cundall for making this opportunity possible and I hope to encourage future sixth form students to take part in this scheme.