Why did you want to be the STEM Lead for Aberdeen?
The first project I worked on when I joined X-Academy involved a lot of research into the Scottish STEM ecosystem. My main takeaway from that project was the importance of representation and role models in STEM for young people. I believe diversity is key to leveraging innovation, so I was keen to take the lead on inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals by showing that the energy industry is for everyone.
Why is it important for the energy industry to be involved in promoting STEM?
STEM underpins so much of the work we do day-to-day within the energy industry. As we continue to decarbonise the energy sector, we are going to need more lateral thinkers and problem solvers. STEM subjects tend to channel these ways of thinking, therefore encouraging young people to engage with STEM subjects is hugely important for the health of our planet. In turn, promoting STEM from an energy angle can inspire young people to consider energy careers with exciting opportunities to be innovative and part of delivering on our net zero targets.
Did you benefit from any STEM initiatives while you were at school that helped shape your choices for the future?
I recall many excursions to Aberdeen Science Centre (back when it was known as Satrosphere!) I found the interactive and fun ways STEM concepts were delivered very impactful as I still remember so many of the exhibits more than twenty years on. I was also privileged to go on supplementary field trips during high school for Geography and Physics - as a visual learner, the real-world context often led me to those “penny drop” realisations. All of these things inspired me to pursue STEM subjects at university.
What is the one piece of advice you would give someone looking to join the industry?
There are many routes into the industry, so my one piece of advice that’s universal would be: be intentional. Whether you are applying for a summer placement or attending a career’s fair, never underestimate the power of bringing your energy and being enthusiastic - it will not go unnoticed!