Women in Engineering Society presents Women’s Wednesdays! On Wednesdays, you are going to hear inspiring stories from women who are involved into STEM and their experiences, struggles and successes.
Our first interviewee is Evelyn Davis. She is a Mechanical Engineering student at the University in Sheffield. Evelyn has also been involved in Sheffield Formula Racing (SFR) team for three years, so we have asked her questions regarding her time spent in the project and her experience in STEM in general.
How is your experience so far?
SFR has been one of the best parts of my time at university! I am in my third year on the team, and I am currently working on developing carbon fiber wheels for this year’s car. Last year I designed and manufactured a carbon fiber seat and worked as the First Year Integration Officer organizing the application process for new team members. When I applied I didn’t know if I would be successful because I didn’t have any experience of working on cars, but I got so many opportunities to learn and quickly got to turn my knowledge from lectures into practical skills.
What challenges have you faced so far and how did you overcome them?
The main challenge has been working out how best to balance the deadlines for Formula Student with my university deadlines. It can be very easy to spend all my time working on the more enjoyable design work and forget that it’s supposed to accompany my degree, not replace it!
Being a part of SFR is a lot of work – everybody on the team dedicates hours of time every week, and months of holidays to making the car, but it is all worth it when you see the product of that effort driving around the track at Silverstone.
What has been your favorite memory while you’ve been in the team/placement?
The week spent at Silverstone for the competition is always amazing. The competition in 2018 had perfect weather (important when camping) and the team completed the endurance race for the first time, won most efficient IC car and got our best result, 5th overall, which led to an amazing atmosphere over the final weekend.
How did you get into STEM? Who inspired you to get into it?
One of the main people that inspired me was a teacher at my high school, Elaine Manton. She is the STEM Coordinator and was amazing in encouraging me to apply for awards and experiences, and she helped me see that the things I was doing were worthy of recognition. My grandad was also a large part of the reason why I chose this degree as he always has such incredible stories about the places he’s travelled and the jobs he’s worked on as part of his own career as an engineer.
What would you say to inspire young girls in order to get them into STEM studies?
I love STEM because I love knowing how things work – when I was younger I was always asking why are things made the way they are and how do things work the way they do. I didn’t always get the detailed answers I wanted, so I went into a degree where I could work out the answers for myself. I would recommend STEM subjects to people who are curious about the world, who want to learn a wide variety of knowledge that can be applied to hundreds of different industries and jobs all over the world.