Peak Hike To Plane Crash Site

One of the many perks of going to university in Sheffield is being so incredibly close to the Peak District. I have been to the peaks a few times in my first and second year but not ever for a proper ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ style hike.

So a few weeks ago some friends and I went for a hike in the peaks to see the B-29 Superfortress crash site.

My flatmate and I drove from Sheffield city centre for about 50 minutes and parked in the outskirts of a little village called Hayfield. We walked (or scrambled) up to Mill Hill to meet a couple of friends and then carried on the Pennine Way for a socially distanced hike up to the crash site.

It was a super foggy day so it was hard to see very far in front of us, the Pennine Way was fine to navigate but as soon as we left the path to reach the crash site we were relying heavily on a compass! Once off the nicely paved path we were walking through boggy moorland, I had made the rookie error of forgetting to bring my walking boots with me to uni, so it was trainers for me and they were soaked!

We were walking through the boggy moor for about half an hour but then we came upon the crash site. It was incredible to see, the wreckage covers a much larger area then I first assumed. Over the years parts have been moved and blown about but because of its remote location there is still a huge percentage of the aircraft wreckage still there to be seen.

The aircraft took off from RAF Scampton travelling to American AFB Burtonwood. B-29 Superfortress crashed into the peaks on the 3rd November 1948 whilst descending through cloud. All 13 crew members were killed but the cause of the aircraft crash was never actually discovered.

As I said, on the day of our walk there was an incredible amount of fog and cloud so the conditions would have been relatively similar on the day of the crash, which was a eerie realisation.

I have to say my legs were incredibly sore the day after but it was definitely worth the pain and effort! I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to see this piece of history still in the same place after over 70 years, I would highly recommend going to visit this site if you are ever in the peak district!

Here is a selection of pictures I took whilst at the crash site!

Maisie

2SistersInSTEM

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Pots, Pans and Panic – Heading Back to Uni!

Hi it’s Maisie here! We have had a bit of a break from the blog over the summer but we are now back and ready to go – I have even got a swanky fringe so it’s all new round here!

It is now nearing the time that I will be going back to university, so I thought I would have a little ramble about how I am feeling regarding heading back to uni after my internship year at Boeing Defence UK.

Excited but surrounded by pots, pans and panic I will venture back to Sheffield!

I had such an incredible year at Boeing Defence UK but now it’s onto my final year at the University of Sheffield. I’m heading back to university! I am ever so excited to get back to Sheffield, I adore the city and can’t wait to live there for another year. I do know that university will be different because of the current global situation but I hope that by being sensible and safe I will still enjoy my final year at Sheffield – time for me to get my degree!

How is university going to be different?

University life is going to be different in many ways, no late nights in the library, less societies and no dancing in clubs at 3am – the latter probably being for the best! But most importantly because of the current Covid climate I won’t be in any face to face lectures (most contact will be online apart from labs and some tutorials). This means I will be on my laptop for a large percentage of my day, I will need a good laptop stand and very comfy chair – and my glasses when my eyes are exhausted from reading about aerospace materials for hours!

What is my living situation going to be like?

I lived in a flat by myself in Southsea for a year so going back to Sheffield will be a readjustment in that sense. I will be living with two of my best friends so it definitely won’t be too difficult – we all get on super well, as long as everyone does their washing up! Also, as we have said before, Lily and I have been living together during lock down, in my opinion this has been good on a lot of levels – mostly me having to adjust to living with another human being again! I think Lily was more happy with the fact I love cooking which meant she got some tasty meals (if I do say so myself!).

So what have I learnt from my internship?

I learnt so much throughout my year at BDUK and I met some incredible people. It was not only aerospace industry knowledge I gained throughout my year, I have learnt so much about the world in general and about myself (cheesy I know but it’s true!!). I definitely think I am a lot more independent now after my year of work, not just in my actions but in my thoughts and opinions. University is the first taste of freedom for most people but you are still in that little educational bubble, I think taking a step away from that has really helped me to re-evaluate lots of aspects of my life. So using all this new found knowledge I really do hope to do my best and achieve as much as I can in my final year!

How will I manage my money?

With my year at BDUK I earned an income so I was pretty comfortable with my budget and spending. Now I need to snap back to student life, I will be keeping a strict budget and managing my spending. I have to say that my weakness is second hand book shopping, I just love a book bargain so I had better keep an eye on that! I keep tabs on my money by having a spreadsheet with all my outgoing payments, including rent, utility bills and also food shops – lily has told me about an app she uses called EMMA so I may have to have a look at that before I start my new year and new spreadsheet.

How will I be keeping to a routine?

Time management is a must and from my year of real-world work I had to have a structured work day. At BDUK I actually started work at 7am so it was a massive change from what I was used to, I would wake up at 5:40am to get into work on time. However I am concerned that I will fall back into my irregular sleep pattern that I definitely developed for my first and second year of university. No more 10am wake ups for me, I have got to keep to a proper morning routine and set a time when I will start working every day.

How am I feeling?

Because I have been away from university for a year I am slightly concerned that when I get back to I am going to feel old – I mean I know I’m only 21 but this years freshers were born in 2002?! I can’t quite get my head around that. Also a readjustment for me will be going back into an academic setting, I haven’t learnt in a structured way for over a year so I’m a little nervous about getting back into the swing of things. I am going to have to put a lot of time and effort into all my work and I know it will be different and strange in many ways but I am up for the challenge.

I had better get packing now, I’ll update you on how I’m getting on in the near future!

Maisie

2SistersInSTEM

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Inspirational Interviews – Thant Phway

In today’s ‘Inspirational Interview’ we are talking to Thant Phway – Quality Engineer at Boeing Defence UK.

Thant has worked at Boeing for 4 years and talks about the journey, the highlights and the challenges that have brought her to where she is today!

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us about your current job?
Hi, I’m Thant Phway. I am a Quality Engineer in Boeing Defence UK. One of my responsibilities is to ensure that the processes and procedures within our business comply with International Standards, Aerospace Standards and the Military Aviation Standards. I have been with Boeing for 4 years and prior to that I have worked in various areas of Engineering within the Oil & Gas Industry.

What/Who inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
My dad is an Engineer and it was no doubt that I would be one too. He is always fixing things around the house and I was like his shadow. I used to help him take out tools he needed to fix a certain item and always interested in anything he was doing. He is however an Electrical Engineer and I knew from a very young age that I do not want to play with wires and I’d rather play with heavy tools and therefore, I studied Mechanical Engineering. Choosing Engineering was a very easy and smooth path for me. I have never wanted to do anything else.

How did you get to where you are today?
My parents have a huge influence on my journey to date. Both of them coached me well and gave me the directions I needed to make important decisions. As such, having a good ‘support team’ has helped me progress. I have also benefited tremendously from Leaders at work who mentor me and gives me the advice based on their own experiences. It is very important to have a mentor at every stage of your journey; be it in University or at work. Making mistakes is another most important factor that has contributed in my journey as without the mistakes I made, I would not have the chance to learn from it and to come out of it better on the other side.  

What does your typical day look like?
A typical day of a Quality Engineer consist of writing and reviewing processes / procedures. Another major part of the responsibility of a Quality Engineer is to plan an audit, conduct the audit and write the audit report so improvements can be made based on the findings of the audit. Conducting an audit can vary from 1 hour to several days depending on the scope of the audit. I am also a member of our STEM Strategy Group and Boeing Women Inspiring Leadership. As such, I also organise events related to these groups from time to time. I like to use my lunch time to go for a short run or go to the gym.

What are your career highlights so far?
My career highlight in Boeing certainly has to be when I got chosen to be part of the Enterprise Auditor Leadership Program. This program is a highly competitive program intended for a very small cohort of employees to gain exposure to all parts of businesses in Boeing. The program only choses 1 person per year outside of the USA region and for 2020, I am that person. This requires me to move to Seattle, USA for 18 months and I will be moving with my son and my husband. My future plan is to continue to explore the many businesses in Boeing and aspire to be a VP (Vice President) of Corporate Audit one day.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to cook – you can follow me on @thisisthant for some of the dishes I’ve made. Apart from that, I like to run and do gym classes where possible I also enjoy a long bicycle ride around the countryside.

Thank you so much to Thant for sharing her story with us, we really appreciate it!

2SistersInSTEM

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My Engineering Internship Experience

Hi, Maisie here! A couple of weeks ago I finished my year long internship at Boeing Defence UK as an ILS (Integrated Logistical Support) Engineer. I thought now would be a great opportunity for me to reflect back on it. A chance for me to share my experience, talk about my motivation and look back on what I have learnt over the past year. Hopefully this will be interesting and useful if you are thinking of doing something similar in the future!

I knew that I wanted to take a year out during my degree to do an engineering internship. I have always wanted to get hands on industrial experience in the aerospace sector before I committed to a full-on job. The process began in the September of my 2nd year at university. I started the application process and submitted applications for many different internships.

I applied to a lot of different companies as I had heard that industrial internships are really competitive and that I would probably get a fair amount of rejections. I also knew it was going to be long process, it can sometimes take months to get a reply from companies let alone an invite to an interview or assessment centre. To help me keep track of my applications I made a huge spreadsheet to track the progress of each application.

I used Gradcracker to find placements to apply for. You can set filters and preferences so you are notified by email when you can apply for a placement in your area of interest (for me it was aerospace engineering). I would definitely recommend not making your search too narrow, I also looked at more mechanical engineering and general engineering placements too.

The application process for most companies is lengthy and I had to put in a lot of time and effort. Whenever I wasn’t in a lecture I was applying, updating my CV, altering cover letters for different companies and answering application questions. Some companies also have long online tests such as situational judgments and personality tests you need to complete.

A few weeks after submitting my Boeing application, I got a call from the head of early careers and was invited to an assessment centre in Bristol, this included a team task and interview. Only a couple of weeks after the assessment centre I got another call and was told I had got the placement! They also gave me some constructive criticism from the assessment day about what I could have improved which was fantastic to receive. I found out I would be working for Boeing Defence UK as an ILS (Integrated Logistical Support) engineer. I was over the moon that I would have the chance to work for an aerospace company as I always had my heart set on that.

My placement was in Gosport, Hampshire so that was a massive change for me. I come from Lincolnshire and go to university in Sheffield so it was in a completely different part of the country than I’m used to! I decided to live in Southsea, close to Portsmouth, the previous intern gave me her recommendations and said there was lots going on there. I ended up finding a flat literally a 1 minute walk from the seafront. I can drive so I commuted to work every day, I got very used to motorway driving by the end of the year!

I was very lucky to be able to live by myself, I knew that working a full time job would be tiring and when I came home I would want to be able to relax and have my own space. I had never lived alone before and I ended up really loving it! I found I am very happy and comfortable in my own company. However it was a big change from university because, unlike Uni there are not lots of people is in the same boat as you, moving to a new place where they don’t know anyone.

When I started my job I was pretty nervous as it was all so new to me. Both my stand in manager and team lead were on holiday so there was a little bit of uncertainty, but I cracked on with the online training for the first few days. I felt really welcome in the team and everyone was friendly, I was the only young person in the office on my floor for the first 3 months so that was an adjustment from what i was used to at university!

My working day was 0700-1600 and I did reduced hours on Friday. Most people in the engineering office did these hours and I enjoyed it, it was nice to have a proper routine. I had never done a full time job like this before so it definitely took me some time to get used to it. And it was a contrast to university as I never had a strict structure to my week. It worked well for me as I felt I could do more with my day getting home at 1630 and the short day on a Friday also gave me more freedom to visit people or go out to the shops or cinema when it was less busy!

I absolutely loved my time at BDUK. I learnt so much from the people in my team. A lot of the people I worked with were ex-military, this meant they had incredible first hand knowledge of the aircraft and had numerous stories about their time in the RAF or Navy! The best part was that only a few months in I felt like a true part of the team, not just the intern. I proved myself and my team believed in me which is a great feeling.

Work Highlights

  • Getting the chance to go on a Chinook and have a hanger tour
  • Having my corrosion investigation presented to the MoD
  • My engine data analysis being discussed in Phoenix, USA
  • Flew up to Almondbank in Scotland for site tour and meetings
  • Presenting at the ‘Girls in Engineering’ day at the Boeing Gatwick learning centre
  • Meeting so many new incredible people, including people from the USA and Australia
  • Personal development, I definitely feel a lot more confident in myself and my ability as an engineer
  • Going to the Young Women in Engineering Awards hosted by the IET

Southsea Highlights

  • I got to fly a plane!
  • Living so close to the seaside
  • Amazing theatres close by such as Chichester Festival Theatre, Kings Theatre, Mayflower Theatre – Southampton
  • Gunwharf Quays was very close by (very good for bottomless brunches)
  • Lovely independent shops and restaurants in Southsea

I learnt so much about working in the aerospace industry and about the career I think I want to pursue in the future. Over this past year I have had lots of great experiences which have helped me improve my skills and develop as a person!

I would definitely recommend doing an internship!

Maisie

2SistersinSTEM

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Inspirational Interviews – Anne McIlveen

Hi everyone, hope you are all doing okay! This week we are back again with another inspirational interview!

Today we are sharing Anne McIlveen’s story, she works in the aerospace engineering sector as a Field Services Engineer at Boeing. Anne started at Boeing as a summer intern and has basically never left!

Keep on reading to find out more about Anne and her journey so far.

Tell us about your current job.
Anne McIlveen – I am a Boeing Field Services Engineer, working to provide around the clock support for all of Boeing’s customers who operate the C-17 Globemaster III military cargo transport aircraft.

Who/What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
When I was little I didn’t know what I wanted to do, in fact I don’t think I even knew what a professional engineer was until I was 17. However, I was lucky enough to receive some very good advice; “pick a thing/subject you love, if you love something it’s much easier to spend time getting good at it.” As a result I just kept pursuing the subjects in school that I enjoyed.

How did you get to where you are today?
Whilst studying for my A-levels (Maths, Physics, and History) I was fortunate enough to be able to do a week of work experience in Bombardier Aerospace Belfast. After climbing over a Tucano fatigue specimen aircraft and learning about Non-destructive Testing techniques and composite materials I knew aerospace engineering was for me. During the summer of my second year at university I managed to secure a summer internship with the Boeing engineering team at Royal Air Force Brize Norton supporting the C-17. Almost 5 years later and I’m still there today. Recently I’ve just been awarded C-17 Delegated Engineering Authority, which means I’m now able to release new structural repair procedures for any aircraft in the worldwide C-17 fleet.

What does your typical day look like?
As a Field Engineer I’m based on a military establishment. My day often starts by discussing the flying programme and which aircraft the Customer needs engineering assistance with. After that my days can vary a lot. Sometimes I spend most of the day at the desk designing a new repair, and answering a variety of technical queries, whilst others can be spent on the aircraft investigating and helping solve problems.  As the C-17 plays such a vital role in national defence, it’s important that our customers can get around-the-clock technical assistance. This means that every few weeks I also provide 24/7 on-call engineering support.

What are your career highlights so far?
Last year I was lucky enough to spend 3 months in California working with our head office stress analysis department. Whilst there I got to attend the annual Women in Aviation Conference, which was a fantastic experience. Although it’s pretty hard to top that, anytime I’ve been able to help our customers fix an aircraft and fly an important mission has been pretty cool. For example, at the moment we’ve been doing lots of flights to supply PPE for COVID-19 relief efforts.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work I enjoy doing lots of sport – swimming, cycling, running and stand-up paddle boarding. The more time I can spend outdoors the better!

Thank you very much Anne for sharing your story with us!

Lily & Maisie

2SistersInSTEM

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How We Became 2 Sisters Working In STEM

So how did we become 2 Sisters In STEM?

What paths did we take to get where we are today?

We thought a good way to kick off our blog would be to do a proper introduction and tell you a bit about ourselves. The journeys we have followed from school, through A Levels, to further study, working in industry and ultimately starting this blog! Hope you enjoy!

Lily

Hi! I’m Lily the slightly older and less ginger sister, I am 23 and live in the East of England. I am currently working in STEM as a Technology Graduate at BT, I joined BT in September 2019 and am absolutely loving it so far.

I have always been curious and liked solving problems, my poor mum bore the brunt of this when I was little and gave me puzzle books to keep me busy! And I’m so glad she did, as my love for puzzles helped me through years of school maths and science. All leading to me deciding to study Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Further Maths at A Level.

As I worked through my A Levels, spending more time studying fewer subjects I came to realise the majority of my interest and passion was for physics. I was really intrigued by all the questions that physicists still don’t have the answers for and the vastness of what I could learn about, from black holes to sub atomic particles.

I decided to apply to do a degree in Physics at University and I secured a place at the University of Bristol. I had a brilliant 3 years, there were times when I loved it and there were times when it was extremely difficult. But I learnt so much and loved living in Bristol a new, big, exciting city and it offered me lots of opportunities to see what I might like to do after I graduated.

After uni I did a lot of job hunting and a fair bit of soul searching and secured a job as a Science and Maths Facilitator at an EdTech (education technology) company. It allowed me to explore two of my biggest passions STEM communication and problem solving. I helped create innovative educational resources and worked on all stages of the product development process. From thinking up new ideas to testing them out in schools with young people and then fine tuning till we had a brilliant product. It was really rewarding and I learnt a lot!

I loved working on innovative solutions to problems and I decided I wanted to work in industry to explore and expand my skill set. So I set about applying for jobs in the technology sector and was lucky enough to be offered one at BT on the Technology Graduate scheme. I am currently on my first of 3 rotations and am really enjoying it so far! I have already learnt so much about the telecommunications industry and developed lots of technical skills and knowledge and I cannot wait for whatever opportunities lie ahead!

Maisie

Hi I’m Maisie, the younger and more ginger sister! I am 21 and currently doing an internship at Boeing Defence UK and working as a Logistical Support Engineer with Chinooks – so lots of helicopter data!

When I was younger I always enjoyed problem solving and building things – the classic Lego cliche applies here! My dad always tells me of the time when I was very little and I beat him in a game of dominoes. I must have always liked numbers… or maybe I’ve just been super competitive since birth.

I think I knew I wanted to go into engineering from about the age of 14, a few people I knew had done the Arkwright Scholarship (an award that encourages young leaders into engineering) and my mum encouraged me to apply for it. Amazingly I got offered it and was sponsored by Rolls Royce! This meant I was able to do work experience at Rolls Royce and I found out all about the different engineering disciplines.

I always loved making things and getting hands on experience when learning. This led me to study Product Design at GCSE and onto A Level. I always looked forward to those lessons, being able to come up with an idea and make it with your own hands is an amazing feeling.

I chose to do Maths, Physics and Product Design for my A levels, as with these I knew I could go on to apply for many different engineering or technology degrees. However I decided on Aerospace Engineering as it was the type of engineering I was most interested in and aircraft have always intrigued me.

After my A Levels I got a place at The University of Sheffield to study a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I absolutely love Sheffield, it’s the perfect city for me and I get to work in the amazing engineering building called the Diamond!

I knew I wanted to gain hands on, industry experience and to see what life working as an engineer is really like. So I decided to apply for an industrial placement and after lots and lots of applications I was offered one! I was over the moon when I got the call from Boeing as I was really keen to experience working in the aerospace sector.

Now I am 10 months into my year long internship at Boeing Defence UK and I am absolutely loving it.

We are both really excited to start sharing more of our stories and the tips & tricks we’ve learnt along the way!

Lily & Maisie

2 Sisters In STEM

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