Mavis Amadi is a chartered engineer, a STEM ambassador and a mentor to young women. Nominated as one of the top 50 female engineers in the UK, Mavis has had an incredible journey. We asked Mavis about her career to date, including her advice on progressing in engineering, how she conquers challenges and what she loves about her work.
Tell us a bit about your career so far
I started my career in 2006 as a Process Engineer working for Michelin after graduating with a BEng (Hons) in Polymer(Chemical) Engineering and went on to do an MSc Project Management in 2009. Thereafter, I worked as a Project Engineer on different projects within the oil and gas sector where I developed greater interest in project management (managing complex projects from concept to delivery). The QEC project then caught my attention, and I was really fascinated by the sheer size of the project. I applied for a job in Babcock and was offered a position as a Project Controls Engineer.
So far I have worked on multiple projects. I am also a STEM Ambassador and a Chartered engineer with the IET, Mentoring younger ladies and girls especially considering a career in STEM. I undertake other voluntary STEM duties across schools and I also organise STEM events myself to impact the community positively.
Is there anything you wish you’d known before you began?
Yes, I wish I went through an apprentice engineer route first before I went to university to study engineering. I strongly think that handling and understanding the tools first would help an engineer fit into the industries and be a better manager. It’s easier to manage people when you have been there before.
What challenges have you had to conquer in your career so far?
I have had many challenges in my career so far, getting into new roles and new projects. One example was when I joined the aircraft carrier programme. Having spent most of my career in core engineering environments and developing processes in manufacturing and oil & gas industries, I found the Queen Elizabeth Carrier (QEC) programme much more complex and extremely rewarding in knowledge gained so far. But I have managed to adapt to the programme now and am ready to take up more challenging roles.
How did you manage to adapt?
I adapted to the programme by putting myself forward for different challenges and arrears across the project, which gave me the opportunity to work in different areas. This opportunity gave me the chance to learn different skills, and utilise my skills while gaining more knowledge.
What are the most enjoyable parts of your work?
The most enjoyable part of my job is the new challenge that comes every day with different lessons to learn, there is never a boring time and it makes me look forward to work every day.
Which of your career accomplishments are you most proud of?
My biggest achievement is becoming a Chartered Engineer through my hard work and contribution to the QEC programme. I was also extremely proud to gain a certification of recognition for my competence, commitment, skills and experience for my successful Professional registration from the Institute of Engineering and Technology. Also I’m delighted to have been nominated as one of the top 50 female engineers in the UK, where I was sponsored by my union, Prospect.
What are your top 3 tips to women looking to progress in engineering?
- Be passionate
Be self-driven and very hard working
Most importantly be yourself and don’t be put off by put downs.