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International Women in Engineering Day – meet Rachel, senior software engineer

Name: Rachel

Role: Senior software engineer

Site: Oakdale, South Wales


About your role…

I am a senior software engineer, which means I lead a team of engineers who resolve software defects found during testing.

What are you currently working on at General Dynamics UK?

I am currently working on the AJAX programme, which is delivering Armoured Fighting Vehicles to the UK Ministry of Defence. The vehicles have new capabilities which will help the British Army with reconnaissance during their missions.

Why engineering?

I became interested in engineering when my dad gave me a second-hand ZX Spectrum – one of the earliest home computers – and I taught myself to program it. Two of my cousins are also civil engineers who have worked on large infrastructure projects in Cardiff, so this gave me a tangible example of what engineering can achieve.

What is your favourite thing about engineering?

My favourite thing about engineering is the problem solving – I really enjoy finding solutions to the different issues.

“I can never be entirely sure what challenges I will meet on a given day, so the work never gets boring.”

Your experience at General Dynamics UK…

My experience of engineering has been largely positive. Over the 12 years I have been at General Dynamics UK, I have worked with a lot of talented engineers and felt a strong sense of being part of a greater whole. I can never be entirely sure what challenges I will meet on a given day, so the work never gets boring.

What is your advice to young girls who are interested in engineering?

My advice to girls who are interested in engineering is to get involved with a club, either inside or outside school, but don’t be surprised if there are very few other girls there. We are still in the minority, so we need more trailblazers!