Nexus IE is getting involved in the celebration of International Women in Engineering Day #INWED17 on June 23rd. We couldn’t think of a better way to support the message of encouraging young people and women into a male dominated industry than by introducing you to some inspiring females who are doing just that.

Having already met engineering graduate, Laura Tuck in our first interview, we are featuring ‘Girls of Steel’, an all girls robotics team from East Barnett school. Our sister company Innomech, recently supported the ‘Girls of Steel’ in their VEX Robotics successes and their trip to the VEX World Championships in the US. Here, we meet the girls individually, starting with Sita, the teams driver. Originally from Iran, Sita lives with her two sisters and parents in Enfield.

Thanks for taking part in our #INWED17 interview series Sita, what are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy playing sports such as badminton and football and I am very enthusiastic about STEM subjects; mostly engineering

Tell us more about your role in ‘Girls of Steel’ and your interest in engineering.
In my robotics team, I am the driver, programmer and builder. I am also one of the designers for the team and I am also in charge of the blog.
Next year I will be studying GCSE Engineering at East Barnet School. I chose to study engineering because it is a subject I really enjoy and in the future I will be looking to have a career in engineering.

What about your recent achievements?
Getting involved in robotics has been a great achievement in itself. This year in March, my team and I won the VEX UK National championships meaning that we went to America to represent the UK in the World championships which is seen as the Olympics of robotics. Also in previous schools, I have been given the chance to join STEM related school clubs showing that I am talented in these subjects.

Congratulatons Sita to you and the team. It is great to see your interests are catered for with STEM related school clubs. What or who are your inspirations?
My inspiration in engineering is Jessica Leigh Jones who is the director of EESW and she has won multiple awards including UK Young engineer of the year 2012 and Rising Star 2016. She inspires me because she is involved with helping and providing interactive STEM activates for young students such as myself. She has taken time to help find potential engineers. It makes me want to do the same.

We also think that is very inspiring. What do you like most about engineering?
I really enjoy the designing side of engineering. I use Autodesk Inventor to bring my ideas to life. I also like designing because lots of problem solving skills are involved meaning that even though I might have an idea, I can use CAD to see what improvements I can make and if my design is suitable and whether it works or not.

Being able to develop your ideas in context is a great skill to have. Do you think that engineering is recognised as male dominated field?
I think that engineering is recognised as a male dominated field and many women don’t see it as a career they will fit into or enjoy.

What do you think can be done to change that?
I think the biggest way to improve this image problem is to get young students involved in activities to do with engineering such as VEX Robotics. By targeting a young audience, they will get used to the skills needed in engineering from a young age and they will find it more enjoyable in the future.

What does International Women in Engineering Day mean to you?
International Women in Engineering Day is important to me as it celebrates all the diverse women that are involved in engineering and all the work that they do. It also makes me feel proud to be among such inspiring women.

What can schools do to engage girls and/or young people with science and engineering?
I think that a way to encourage young people with science and engineering is to introduce activities such as VEX Robotics into the curriculum. This will introduce them to STEM subjects in a fun and enjoyable way. Another way is to have engineers coming into schools and giving talks about their career and how they got to where they are.

We like your ideas Sita. Do you have any advice for other young people looking to follow a career in engineering?
To students looking for a career in engineering I would say just go for it. Ever since I got involved in engineering based clubs, I have been given so many opportunities and many doors have been opened for my future. I would also like to remind other young students that so many life skills will be learnt including teamwork, communication and perseverance which will all help a lot in the future.

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you Sita and you have certainly given us food for thought. Thanks for sharing your passion for engineering with us.

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