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Case studies

Lucy Smith

Lucy Smith - Engineering Student

Lucy Smith

I was first introduced to Engineering at the age of fourteen when I was asked if I would like to take the subject for GCSE instead of studying Technology; I had always enjoyed Technology but jumped at the chance to be one of the few girls in the country at the time to have this qualification.

Ridgewood School then became a School of Engineering and of the few girls that had taken the GCSE course I was the only one who progressed onto the A-Level course. During the two years I produced a bicycle and a wind turbine on Wednesday afternoons and studied Maths and Chemistry at A-Level and Biology at AS Level at a separate sixth-form.

I am currently in my final year at Loughborough University studying Materials Engineering BEng, which allows me to learn the basics of the course such as metals, polymers and ceramics and also study maths- and chemistry-based subjects.

When I joined university I was fully aware that I did not want to take a year out in industry and so in my first Christmas holiday (after spending a week in the Alps with the University Ski Club) I decided to arrange interviews with local industrial companies to secure a summer placement. My initial idea was to complete each summer in a different material industry but after my first placement working at Bridon International (a wire drawing and rope making company) in the Works Lab I was offered sponsorship and a job for when I finish my degree.

I have recently become a STEM Ambassador as I want to give something back, especially to Ridgewood School.

In the future I aim to gain both internal training at Bridon International to develop my understanding of how the company operates, and external training to develop my personal skills; this will include a Masters in a materials-based subject, environmental training (as I will return to the company and work under the Environmental Manager), management training and auditing training.

Added on: 28/01/2013