We interview Project Engineer Courtney MacDougall to talk about her inspiration and how engineering is a universal language.
Where are you from and where are you based?
Half American, half British – based in London (hoping to move up to Edinburgh!)
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My dog, Momo!
What are you most passionate about?
The environment: there is so much opportunity and scope for a greener planet. I had an internship with an oil and gas company whilst I was at university, and I was lucky enough to travel to the rainforest. However, the deforestation and environmental impact drove me to working in the renewable sector.
What drew you to engineering and how did you get started?
I loved maths and physics at school, and really enjoyed the problem solving element and thinking outside of the box! It was my father that suggested I look at studying engineering at university. I am really grateful that he pushed me in the engineering direction. I tell girls that are in school to consider engineering as there are countless industries they can go into and they can always travel the world (it’s a universal language!).
Who was an inspiration to you along the way?
Where do I begin! My physics teacher Mrs. Hewitt certainly inspired me in my formative years, and to this day I am constantly inspired by my fellow engineering colleagues. Especially Sandra Šlihte and Selene Molina Blanco – they are paving the way for woman like me to be challenged and excited for our future in engineering – no sky is the limit!
What's an interesting project that you've been working on?
Riverside Heat Network – it is a real privilege to look at the routing options and engineering solutions that will be feeding a network for potentially hundreds of thousands of people. The future of RHN is game changing in the UK and it’s only just the start!
What kind of things do you like to do in your downtime?
Long walks with my fiancé and dog, followed by a country pub. Nothing beats fresh air and watching our dog Momo run in an open field followed by a pint after!
What's something that not a lot of people know about you?
I love food – the spicier the better...