Womens Engineering Society: Inspiring women as engineers, scientists and technical leaders

Laura Fuller

Laura Fuller

I currently work in the project engineering department of a Nestlé UK factory based in Carlisle where I am involved in overseeing the installation and commissioning of a new liquid feed system. Prior to this, I worked at a Nestlé confectionery factory in Halifax where I was part of a project engineering department, implementing projects in the factory related to new product development, packaging changes and cleaning systems. Laura Fuller

At school I studied A-Levels in Maths, Chemistry and French and an AS in Biology. Engineering appealed to me as it involves applied mathematics and science on a large scale. In addition to this; careers in engineering are practical, very varied from day to day and can lead to opportunities for working internationally.

I looked at the different industries I could work in and decided on the food industry because it is a fast moving customer driven industry and I am interested in the products as a customer and consumer. It can be very rewarding seeing products you’ve worked on appearing in your local supermarket.  It is a huge and very varied industry across the world which impacts all people.

One of the most exciting projects I worked on was the relocation of an Easter Egg packing line. I was fortunate to see this project right through from design to commissioning and completion. It was very rewarding to see the Easter Eggs being produced to the right quality and then seeing them in the shops in time for the Easter season. My role within the project team was helping with the engineering aspects to the design, overseeing the installation of new equipment (contractor management), ensuring the project developments are communicated out to the factory and assisting in the line commissioning. I really enjoyed being part of the project team and being able to add real value to the project through being given real responsibility.

I particularly like that every day is different and I can get involved in many aspects of the factory operations. I have real responsibility on projects; I have been given small projects to lead as well as being part of large project teams. I like that my role involves a lot of working with people and being out in the factory. On a daily basis I work closely with colleagues, contractors and suppliers.

I would definitely recommend doing a Food Engineering degree course; it offers a more in depth knowledge of how the food industry works as well as gaining a degree in engineering. This will mean you will be well prepared to work within the industry and there are many opportunities for graduate engineers to work within food throughout the UK.

To be an engineer it is important that you can use your technical ability along with a logical approach to problem solving. You will need good communication skills to communicate with different departments in a company as well as within a team. Also good engineers are organised and structured in their approach to tasks as well as having good time management skills.

My favourite product would have to be the peanut butter Kit Kat Chunky.

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