My name is Katy Greatbatch, I graduated in 2008 with an MEng in Aeropsace Engineering.
I work for Rolls-Royce in Derby. My job as NPI (New Product Introduction) Team Leader means I am responsible for delivery of all key outputs of the pre-production engine build area, including cost, rate, capacity, capability, quality and layout. The primary focus of the pre-production facility is to develop the production processes that support the cost, quality and delivery rates our customers expect for the Trent XWB-84, -97 and Trent 1000-TEN engines. Out long-term goal is to introduce pre-production across all engines programmes ensuring process excellence across all Civil Large Engines.
I have always been fascinated by flight – originally I wanted to copy my Uncle and become a pilot. Then, more specifically I really wanted to know about how to design things that fly (planes, rockets) and decided Aerospace Engineering was the course for me. If you are the type of person that is always curious to know why and how things work, then engineering is the perfect career for you. Engineering knowledge can explain the mechanics of things we see around us everyday.
I love the variety of work, everyday is different and holds new challenges. I also love being in an area where the entire engines are assembled together, it gives a great sense of job satisfaction seeing the final product being assembled before being sent to the customer to fit to the aircraft.
In 2012 I was given the chance to run a training course for one of our suppliers out in Japan. The cultural experience was just brilliant – a once in a lifetime opportunity! Aside from travel, I also love working in an area with so many engineering sights to see; if you are having a difficult day you can go down to the test beds and see the engines being tested or see a bird strike test – its not possible to have a bad day after seeing that kind of thing!
Thoughts on women in engineering.
We need to be doing work in primary schools to capture the imagination of girls when they are young enough to get really excited about STEM activities. When I was in primary school I met Helen Sharman (Sheffield-born astronaut, first Briton in space and first woman on MIR space station). She gave us freeze dried ‘space-food’ as competition prizes and we had a great time. I am sure this was the turning point in my education where I started to get really excited about science and engineering and saw that you really can do anything if you set your mind to it, regardless of gender.
Time at University.
I had such a fantastic time throughout my years at uni, both academically and socially. My degree gave me the academic knowledge I needed to get a job I love, and I made some of my very best friends. Since then we’ve grown up together, got married, had kids and still meet up all the time. Some people say uni is the best time of your life – I’d disagree, my time at university was definitely one of the best times of my life, but I’d say life has been equally fun since.