International Women in Engineering Day

It's International Women in Engineering day!

This day has been celebrated annually since 2014, and aims to promote the incredible work of women engineers around the world.

The theme this year is #EnhancedByEngineering and will celebrate women in engineering and the contributions they make to supporting people's lives each day.

We spoke to Jennie Lewis, who has worked in our Medical Engineering team since 2013, about her experience working in this field.

A woman smiling, wearing Medical Engineering uniform

Prior to working in the NHS Jennie worked as a qualified dog groomer for over 8 years. Despite thoroughly enjoying this role, she felt she was at the point where she wanted a new challenge in life! 

"I found a job working in the engineering department as a Medical Device Librarian. This role manages and services a stock of important equipment that is used across the hospital - for example; IV pumps, syringe pumps, patient monitors etc."

"As a team we go on two rounds a day collecting equipment that is either no longer required, or needs servicing. We deep clean, fix and service these items. We then catalogue them on our system so we can keep a live record of what stock we have available in the hospital."

After a short period of maternity leave, Jennie returned to SaTH in June 2019 and was successful in obtaining a new role within the engineering department as an Assistant Technical Officer.

"As an Assistant Technical Officer, I had a multitude of responsibilities. I covered library duties, cataloguing faulty equipment and prepping and categorising items into priority lists for them to be safely serviced and repaired."

"I also commissioned new equipment into the Trust, and assisted other engineers in the workshop with servicing and condemning of mattresses. At the same time I was responsible of condemning faulty and out of date equipment hospital wide."

After another short period of maternity leave, Jennie returned to SATH in July 2023. After a short period of settling back into the role she applied and successfully obtained a new role of an Entry Level 1 Technologist.

"This new role still has me working closely with colleagues managing the servicing, categorising and repairing more vital equipment used in and around the hospital. I have more responsibility, assisting colleagues in their own roles, supporting bed technicians managing servicing and reapirs, and undertaking pre-planned maintenance visits in wards, as well as externally at other NHS Trusts."

Jennie also now has some classroom development time in order to further develop and improve her skills. She's currently undertaking her Level 3 Engineering qualification, with full support from her team.

"I enjoy the variation of equipment we see and the people we meet on a daily basis. I enjoy having a role that is extremely important in the day to day running of the hospital. I take pleasure in supporting and sharing knowledge with other colleagues in the engineering department and developing my knowledge base. The engineering department is a close-knit team who look after each other’s development and strive for excellence."

So, would Jennie recommend a career in engineering?

"A career in engineering is incredibly rewarding! There are endless possibilities and pathways to obtain skills and experience that can be used in all walks of life. This field gives you the chance to get inventive and solve problems in new and more efficient ways. You also get to collaborate with professionals in other industries and sectors to produce impactful, innovative and original work."

"I would encourage anyone who is thinking about joining the engineering department to go for it! It is a vital role in the day-to-day running of the NHS. I hope that other women would not be discouraged by any thoughts that engineering isn’t a typical career for them. I have had two periods of maternity leave during my time here and have been able to continually grow my career and develop myself around working hours that suit me. It absolutely hasn't got in the way of developing a flourishing career in engineering!"

"The engineering industry is continuing to grow rapidly as power, gas, utility, healthcare and communication departments are in high demand. Engineering gives a real-life purpose to making the world a better place. As an engineer we strive to problem solve and design ways to improve and make processes more efficient."

"I am proud as a woman to be part of developing a brighter better future for all."

If you'd like to find out more about a career in medical engineering within the NHS, the Health Careers site has some useful information and can be found by clicking the link below:

NHS Health Careers - Medical Engineering

You can also view our current vacancies over on our Jobs pages