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Engineers who inspire - Ruth and Alicia

Monday, April 22, 2013

Meg Munn MP recently met young entrepreneur Ruth Amos to find out how she created The StairSteady, a rail system that helps to stabilize individuals who have difficulty climbing stairs. Meg was interested to hear Ruth’s perspective on how to encourage more women into engineering, and the challenges that face young people who aspire to start their own businesses.

They discussed the need for businesses to be supportive of apprenticeship programs and for the development of small workshop spaces where entrepreneurs can develop their products. Engineering businesses generally can’t be run out of an individual’s front room, workshop space is essential.

Meg also met Alicia Southern, a young engineering apprentice who works in skilled technical drawing and quality testing. Her story highlighted how important it is that individuals understand the principles of engineering. Alicia keeps the technical drawings for buses up to date and accurate - if just one dimension is wrong, 20 or more buses may be manufactured incorrectly.

Meg said:

“I heard that there may be areas in engineering that women are particularly suited for, such as the attention to detail necessary in technical drawing and the delicate welding needs of stainless steel. There is a clear need for these skills and we must provide an environment for them to be developed.

I find Ruth and Alicia’s stories inspiring and hope that they can serve as examples of the opportunities that are available to women in engineering.”

For details of The StairSteady visit: http://www.stairsteady.net/index.html

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