Elements Of The System 2

22nd Jun 2023

Employee Spotlight: Steph Lavallin

Steph Black And White Clipped Rev 1

Steph Lavallin is a project manager engineer who joined AB Dynamics in 2021, bringing her expertise and dedication to the team. Her outstanding achievements and contributions have earned her well-deserved recognition as one of the 100 women being considered for this year's Women in Engineering Awards.

This year's theme, "Make Safety Seen," focuses on acknowledging the unsung heroes who work tirelessly to protect everyone. These individuals utilise their engineering skills to create safer environments for all.  

In this blog post, Steph shares insights on her choice of engineering as a career, the benefits of pursuing engineering, and the significance of diversity in the field. 

Why did you choose to pursue an engineering career?   

Physics was my favourite subject back in school as I was captivated by working out how everything worked. I was particularly interested in quantum mechanics as we are still proving theories and I find it fascinating how particle behaviour on the smallest scale relates to understanding the solar system. As I reached university, I realised I wanted to study something broader than pure physics, and engineering seemed like a good fit as it provides practical skills, but at the same time I didn’t really know what it meant to be an engineer. 

However, I really enjoyed the course and have been fortunate to work within the automotive industry on a range of projects, both as an engineer and as a project manager, over the years. Working within engineering has given me the opportunity to work on some great projects from supercars to aircraft interiors. As a project manager, I’m lucky to work on innovative projects and help make the engineering team’s ideas a reality.  

Would you recommend engineering as a career?    

Absolutely! Engineering is such a broad industry with many skills that are transferable into other sectors. One of the best aspects of engineering is that you not only gain theoretical knowledge, but you also develop a systematic approach to solve complex problems. Often, you need to be creative to find the most efficient solutions.  These are skills that can be applied in many sectors that require this analytical mindset.   

What advice would you give to young women who are considering a career in engineering 

Pick an area or sector you enjoy, whether it's automotive, aerospace or manufacturing, etc., it's doesn't matter, but if you enjoy it, then wherever your career takes you, you'll be happy doing it.   

For me, having an interest in automotive engineering and pursuing a career in this field has allowed me to work on projects from start to finish, including design and development. In my current role, there’s a sense of accomplishment in producing a tangible product that helps make our roads safer.  

In your opinion, what are some of the unique contributions that women can bring to the field of engineering?   

I think diversity is very important for innovation and progress. Different opinions, life experiences and values will create debate and questioning of ideas. We all come from different backgrounds and therefore see the world differently. When a team consists of individuals who all have different perspectives it provides an opportunity for challenging each other, which leads to innovative solutions. If everyone on a project has the same ideas, then we would all just agree with each other and not drive change. Having a diverse team also means better fulfilment of customer needs, finding the best solution to the problems they are facing.  

What aspects of your role do you find most fascinating or fulfilling? 

It's great to be able to take an idea someone has, get it designed, tested, into production and then marketed within a couple of years.  Being one of the few people that stay with a product for its full lifecycle is very rewarding. 

My role also allows me to work with different departments, such as engineers, marketers, and other professionals. All these experts have different viewpoints and experience that contributes to the success of the final product. Seeing the results is a testament of great effort from people in all departments.  

About International Women in Engineering Day 

International Women in Engineering Day 2023 is being held on the 23rd June and is organised by the Women’s Engineering Society. The Women’s Engineering Society is a charity and a professional network of women engineers. Their mission is to support women in engineering to fulfil their potential and support the engineering industry to be inclusive. AB Dynamics is a Company Partner of the Women’s Engineering Society. For more information, visit https://www.wes.org.uk/ or if you would like to consider a career with AB Dynamics, visit our careers page.  

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