International Women in Engineering Day 2021 - Meet Irina, Principal Design Engineer
The theme for this year's International Women in Engineering Day is celebrating our engineering heroes. Irina Popova, shares her story about her recent promotion into the role of Principal Design Engineer and her advice to the next generation of engineering heroes.
Can you describe what you do at UK Power Networks Services and what excites you most at work?
I have worked in UK Power Networks Services for 4.5 years, participating in various infrastructure projects. I am excited to have been given the opportunity to take on a multi-faceted role as Principal Design Engineer. From resolving complex technical challenges with environmentally friendly solutions whilst maintaining the client’s business operations to providing my team with technical support, mentorship and encouraging engineers to advance their knowledge to achieve professional accreditation and fulfil their career aspirations, and delivering high quality solutions and business propositions to our clients while supporting internal operations of the design team and internal quality assurance processes.
Can you tell us about a recent challenge and how you’ve overcome it?
Recently, I was assisting on a bid which took my expertise to the limit. The task required preparation of construction methodology, programme checking, cost estimations with oversight of experienced members of the team. It was a great learning curve that gave me insight into the input that is required from other disciplines when we are preparing a new business proposal.
What does success look like to you?
Happy Client, Happy Boss, Happy Team, Happy Family. It is challenging to balance all things to keep on top of it, and not without sacrifice, but it is fulfilling to realise that you have achieved something in life.
What qualities do you think would serve one well in an engineering career?
Persistence, the desire for continuous learning and having a predisposition to “precise” rather than “humanitarian” sciences. Attention to detail, problem-solving attitude, good communication skills and good writing skills will help too.
Is there a thought you’d like to leave with women considering a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)?
It is a rewarding career which keeps the brain on its toes and constantly challenges obtained knowledge to move along with technological progress. I would advise anyone at school to take part in detailed professional orientation at least 2-3 years before finishing school, as it would help one to assess whether the STEM pathway is suitable and something to pursue for higher education.
Find out more about careers at UK Power Networks Services here.