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International Women in Engineering Day

Two women in Engineering standing in front of some wind turbines

International Women in Engineering Day celebrates the amazing work that women engineers do across the globe. Women engineers are key for the fight against climate change and are doing excellent work across Scotland to help us reach net zero.

We spoke to Kirsti Hampson, who is a programme administrator for Local Energy Scotland, about her engineering experience and what advice she has for women thinking about a career in engineering.

Can you tell us a little bit about your current role?

I work in the fund administration team for the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) programme. We help communities lower carbon emissions across Scotland.

How did you get into engineering?

Science was one of my favourite subjects when I was at school so I went on to college to study an HNC in physics. I was inspired to go into Civil Engineering when I watched a BBC documentary on Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He was a famous civil engineer who some would say revolutionised the railway system back in the day. That made a lasting impression on me.

How can women in engineering help Scotland achieve net zero?

The civil engineering industry plays a key role in lowering carbon emissions. Just look at hydro stations and wind turbines. Civil engineers design these systems, and new techniques and environmentally sustainable methods are improving all the time.

The geoengineering sector is also an interesting field that is working on upcoming technologies to combat the climate crisis.

What kind of opportunities have opened up for you since getting your degree in civil engineering?

Since graduating I have worked on a few projects. I worked in a profession where I put my knowledge of fluid mechanics to good use designing new pipelines for gas transportation before leaning towards environmental sustainability. I took some courses in renewable technologies and completed a masters in environmental management & protection before starting my role with Local Energy Scotland.

Do you have any advice for women looking to get into engineering?

More and more women are getting into engineering. I wouldn’t let the stigma of it being a ‘man’s world’ put you off.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Be the change, make a difference!

Learn more about International Women in Engineering Day on their website. You can also learn about how women are helping the Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy in this blog from Energy Saving Trust.