My colleagues have discussed how they became engineers with NATS and the importance of women in engineering. Professional development is important for everyone and is encouraged by NATS.

Throughout my career with NATS, I have always enjoyed stretching my knowledge and trying to make a difference. This stretch has enabled me to progress from a Chartered Engineer (CEng) with the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) to recently achieving Fellowship.

During my career, I have been involved with many projects that have afforded me the opportunity to work alongside many professionals within NATS and other international partners. Today my main roles involve acceptance and transition management for the Prestwick Centre Upper Airspace (PCUA) project. PCUA is a large, interesting and complex project which when formally delivered later this year will deliver significant benefits. PCUA is significant as an enabler of the Single European Sky’s (SES) trajectory-based concept of operation and is currently being developed collaboratively with our Spanish colleagues – INDRA.

Other interesting projects for me have been Dynamic Sector Operational Trial (DSOT) and Gander Automated Air Traffic System (GAATS+) where my role was transition manager. DSOT involved developing an excellent working partnership with my Irish IAA colleagues to deliver the agreed operational trial that lasted for nine months. Similarly, the deployment of the new Oceanic system GAATS+ involved establishing relationships and working alongside our collaborative Canadian partners NAVCANADA.

Outside of NATS I have also strived to make a difference and give something back to the community. For example, I created and was Chairman of the Scottish Airshow, a mammoth project which delivered a professional free airshow from scratch. This event is now the largest single day outdoor event in Scotland having benefited the local economy significantly by over £5M. In addition, it provides a platform and opportunity to highlight the much important STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) educational subjects to students.  I was also invited to become an external examiner for a new Engineering Masters course (MEng) at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).

Many people at NATS share my desire to continue to develop professionally and are involved with professional organisations, in order to keep up to date with the latest developments in their specialist fields.

To be awarded a Fellowship by the IET is a tremendous personal achievement. I’d encourage anyone who is interested to find out more and to get involved with their professional body, as not only do your skills evolve but in time you can give back to those starting on their career paths, which really makes a difference to them as well as being tremendously satisfying.

The IET is a charitable institution promoting engineering worldwide and encouraging professional development, helping young people to consider engineering as a career path. It is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions and also the most multidisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. NATS has a strong relationship with the IET – our Engineering Direct Entry Graduate (DEG), Industrial Placement (IP) and Engineering Technician (EngTech) schemes are all accredited by the Institution.

Getting more young people to consider engineering as a career and then helping them to develop professionally is a very important aim and one I am glad to see NATS embracing.


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