This is Engineering Day: Stevenage MBDA engineer challenges stereotypes of her profession

PUBLISHED: 08:25 06 November 2019

Christina Lanisek is keen to dispel the narrow stereotype of engineering. Picture: Courtesy of MBDA

Christina Lanisek is keen to dispel the narrow stereotype of engineering. Picture: Courtesy of MBDA

Archant

To challenge the stereotype of engineering - and help address the significant skills and diversity shortfall in this sector - a campaign to raise awareness of the breadth of careers in engineering has been launched.

And Christina Lanisek - an engineer at missile systems company MBDA in Stevenage - is getting behind the This is Engineering initiative, with today a dedicated awareness day.

She currently uses her engineering expertise to help recruit apprentices and graduates. Before that, Christina was using her skills to ensure maintenance of equipment on board Navy frigates was as easy as possible while deployed at sea.

Christina said: "When I was 10, during a Navy Day in Plymouth, I went on a tour of a Type 23 frigate and realised how much the sailors depended on their onboard equipment when they were at sea and deployed to serve our country.

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"Little did I know, many years later I would be part of an MBDA team ensuring our equipment on Type 23's could be maintained as easily as possible whilst at sea.

"This experience has been part of a varied engineering career I have had to date, but one with a personal satisfaction of supporting our Navy."

The Royal Academy of Engineering, which launched the campaign, says deep-rooted perceptions of engineering as mechanical, too technical and dull has led to a significant engineering skills and diversity shortfall that is holding back growth and productivity across the UK economy.

The academy's chief executive, Doctor Hayaatun Sillem, said: "Engineering and technology play an incredible role in shaping the world around us and in addressing some of society's biggest challenges, from providing a sustainable supply of food, water and clean energy, to advancing healthcare, and keeping us safe and secure. We know young people increasingly want to tackle these issues and make a difference in the world, but unfortunately the lack of understanding around engineering is stopping them from exploring careers that will enable them to do this.

"We face a shortfall of up to 59,000 engineers each year in the UK, and there is a pressing need to diversify our engineering workforce, since only 12 per cent are female and nine per cent are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds."

For more on the campaign, visit thisisengineering.org.uk

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