All this week we are celebrating some of our amazing colleagues as part of International Women in Engineering Day (INWED).
We’ll be adding more profiles as the week progresses.
To start with we’re going back to the 19th century when the formidable Mrs McNab helped transform the future.
Mrs McNab played a huge role in our company, from running the caps department at the age of 22 in 1872 to her retirement in 1902. Under Mrs McNab’s supervision there was no serious accidents in her department, which was producing 449 million caps per year in the 1880s.
She was crucial in the company gaining a worldwide reputation for excellence.
Yogi Yogalingam, Quality Control Manager, IMI CCI
Yogi joined IMI plc in 2012, as a procurement intern at IMI Precision Engineering, and following the six month placement she joined the Global IMI Graduate Programme.
She said: “The program was a powerful tool for my development. It consisted of four six-month placements around the world in different IMI businesses, working in marketing, operations, key account management, and business development.
“This gave me an appreciation of how the different functions contribute to the success of a business. Being exposed to the different work dynamics and local cultures in each country has truly been a rewarding experience.
“The program helped me identify what I am most passionate about, which is operations. I started my permanent role in 2014 as the Product Quality Engineer for IMI Critical Engineering in Southern California. I was responsible for reducing the cost of quality and implementing error proofing within the business year on year. From the experience and knowledge I gained, I am now able to flourish in my current role as the Quality Control Manager for the site. I constantly learn and seek ways to improve and optimise operations. I look forward to continue to grow and make a difference.
“Engineering is still a male dominating environment. We need women and girls in the industry to bring diversity and a different outlook to innovative engineering solutions. If you believe in breakthrough engineering to improve quality of life, then IMI is the place for you!”
Elke Baum, Director Design Authority, IMI Z&J
Elke said: “After successfully finishing this training in 1996, I worked for a year in engineering to gain more technical background.
“Becoming a mother in 1998, I started my additional education in the University of Applied Science in Aachen, Germany, with a degree in mechanical engineering.
“Being a mother and the higher education was a good combination, because I could arrange my university courses around the care of my daughter. During my university studies, I still worked part-time for IMI Z&J.
“After completion of my university studies in 2003, I started full-time within IMI Z&J in the engineering department until 2009, when I changed to the sales department. In 2015, I changed from sales to project management, and in 2017 I moved back to sales.
“Now, in 2019, I’m back to the roots of my education, being Director of Design Authority.
“The mechanical engineering territory is still a male domain, but I would encourage every woman, who is good at science, technology, engineering and maths, to start a mechanical engineering education, because women can provide added value to every company – a diverse thought provides new ideas and improvement.”
Jamie Swan, Design Engineer, IMI Fluid Kinetics
Jamie has been a Design Engineer at Fluid Kinetics for six years. Most of her focus is on silencer design, but also works on pulsations dampeners, suction stabilizers, and volume tanks. She is passionate about encouraging more women to take up STEM careers.
Jamie said: “We need more women and girls to pursue engineering to ensure more diverse view points are included in the engineering processes. More diversity in view points and experience allows a group to develop better products that are more useful and appealing to a larger market.”
Priya Sohal, Process Engineer, IMI Truflo Marine
As Process Engineer, Priya supports the operations with process development and all new and existing products. She works closely with colleagues in design, engineering, applications, quality, planning and manufacturing.
Priya said: “I’m degree qualified in interior architecture of which as a new graduate at the time I found my first job as CAD administrator within an aerospace company. The engineering industry opened my eyes and I thoroughly enjoyed working in a fast-growing industry.
“I started learning on the job talking to different clients all over the world and getting involved with projects in different departments. I was recognised for my problem-solving skills of which I was then promoted as a design technician in the design department.
“Talking to clients to agreeing specification, creating processes to seeing the product being built is what I thrived off and the achievement of being able to be a part of something big was a privilege and never looked back since.
“I wanted to use the skills I had learnt throughout my years in engineering and bring it to a new exciting company as it was time to further career as an engineer of which I joined IMI as a process engineer. I’m excited and hoping to develop my engineering career further with IMI Truflo Marine.
“Although this is my sixth week at IMI, I have already created and amended routings which will help IMI plan and create an accurate time & pricing of all the products we produce at IMI Truflo Marine for our clients.”
Maria Deck, Quality Control Inspector, IMI CCI
At IMI CCI Maria inspects incoming materials from our suppliers and outgoing products to our customers for any defects using wide variety of measuring tools and equipment ensuring acceptable requirements are met.
In her experience as the only female ‘shop floor’ employee at our RSM facility, it is teamwork, rather than gender, that’s important.
She said: “Being in a male-dominated working environment was a little intimidating at first but along the way I realised guys are easy to work with and my coworkers make me feel extra special.
“But what this job really taught me is to be persistent and to not give up when things are hard or not as you expect. I feel grateful for the opportunity.
“One of the secrets of any employment is to learn to work as a team – gender doesn’t have anything to do with it. Be really good at what you do and you’ll bubble up to where you want to be.”
Shalini Ramakrishnan, Senior Inside Sales Engineer, IMI Critical Engineering – Pacific
Shalini handles the spares division for the Pacific region, working as part of a cross-functional team.
She said: “Engineering is not just about automotive, aerospace and structures such as bridges and buildings
“Just like any profession which introduces you to its distinct culture, skills, language, practices, and values; every engineer (male/female) observe and practice these mostly through group projects, where they learn how to think and act like engineers. They quickly discover that collaboration and teamwork constitute a core component of being an engineer. There are no gender stereotypes!
“In a field that still many consider to be intimidating, we women must love that we will be able to change this perspective.”
Caroline Russell, Manufacturing Process Engineer, IMI CCI
After graduating from Karlstad University, in Sweden, Caroline began her career as a mechanical design engineer in the healthcare sector before joining IMI.
She said: “In this role I am able to use my analytical skills together with creativity to identify where improvements are needed and how the new solution should be formed. I continue to learn from every new challenge given and through close co-operation with colleagues from multiple functions.
“I would encourage girls and women to consider engineering because it is important to have people with many talents and backgrounds work together to creatively find the best solution to the problem presented. Leave all presumptions behind and break the norm, engineering is for everyone.”
Ellen Lu, Inside Sales Director, IMI Critical Engineering Greater China
Learning and development has been key to Ellen’s career with IMI, which began 13 years ago.
As an Inside Sales Engineer, focusing on the IMI CCI business, Ellen immersed herself in the business – including the chance to learn about our brands, such as IMI Z&J and IMI Remosa.
She said: “For each new business expansion, it’s the opportunity of new products to study, new business models to understand, new customer networks. These all gave me, more and more knowledge and helped me gain more experience and confidence in the business.
“The more you learn, the more you feel the interested in STEM, which makes the subject even more attractive. What we learn we can apply and develop as new technology or production and really change lives.”
Vinita Meissner, Design and Development Engineer, IMI Truflo Marine
Vinita joined IMI Truflo Marine last year as a Design and Development Engineer and is passionate about encouraging young people to consider STEM careers.
Earlier this year Vinita took part in a specialist panel at the Big Bang event, in the UK – a science and engineering fair aimed at school children. During the event Vinita was given an Award for Special Achievement.
She said: “My job is extremely varied from concept design and initial strength calculations to detailed drawings and test reports. I am empowered to interact with clients and have been given opportunities to travel the world, which is something I really enjoy.
“Each day I am innovating and learning new things. I love that I am working on something tangible – being able to see what I have designed be manufactured and installed into a submarine is really cool.
“I would strongly advise young engineers to do as much work experience as they can, many university courses offer a year in industry and summer internships are highly encouraged. Initiatives like this allow you to develop relationships with companies and often lead to job offers after graduation. And don’t worry if you make mistakes. The most important thing is to take responsibility and learn from them. I’ve learnt that no project goes perfectly first time so you should always be ready to deal with anything and solve problems as they come.”
Maya Otoum, IMI Graduate – Design Engineer, IMI CCI
Maya joined the IMI Graduate Programme last year after graduating with a Material Science and Engineering qualification. Currently based at IMI CCI in California, Maya will soon continue her placement in Italy.
She said: “Being a female engineer in a male dominated industry, I’m used to being the only woman in the room when I walk in. I want to tell all my future STEM girls to not be discouraged by this, embrace it and prove that you’re as good as any man in there.
“Always remember, you’re not a female engineer. You’re an engineer. And you deserve to be there.”