International Women in Engineering Day – meet Caz, lead IRAD engineer
Role: Lead engineer for internal research and development
Site: Hastings, East Sussex
About your role…
I am currently the lead engineer for internal research and development (IRAD), based in Hastings. I am also an employee consultation group representative within the Company, which means I am a spokesperson for my colleagues if they want to raise anything with senior management.
What are you currently working on at General Dynamics UK?
My current role involves overseeing numerous IRAD activities for various avionics capabilities, including video processing, stores management systems, tactical communications, future concepts and, more recently, maritime research projects.
How did you become interested in engineering?
When I was younger (a while ago!), I was one of those kids with a Commodore-64, and I remember buying the monthly magazine, Zap-64, where you could copy out the code to create a super-duper game. Later on, during my A-levels, my school was approached by a defence company who were looking to sponsor students on a software engineering degree. I was interviewed, and the rest is history!
“Just remember, ‘nerds are cool’ – well, that’s what my daughter tells me, and she is in the know!”
What is your favourite thing about engineering?
Although I am a software engineer by trade, I am overseeing all aspects of engineering in my current role. This means I am continuously learning and progressing my own knowledge. I love that my role is varied and challenging, and I am lucky enough to work with a great team of people who provide innovative solutions for the business.
Your experience at General Dynamics UK…
I joined General Dynamics UK 11 years ago, and although it was a big decision moving from a company I had been at for more than a decade, I definitely have no regrets. I started by working on data links programmes, before working as a software engineer on our tactical processor and in the AJAX vehicle team. I was made very welcome when I joined and have never had any issues with ‘biased’ attitudes towards being a woman in engineering.
What is your advice to young girls who are interested in engineering?
If you’re looking for a career that is varied, challenging, offers progression, has travel opportunities and is fulfilling, then engineering is for you! Just remember, ‘nerds are cool’ – well, that’s what my daughter tells me, and she is in the know.