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Spotlight: Katherine Brogan, Civil Engineering Student at the University of Edinburgh

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I sent an experiment to the ISS looking at the effectiveness of medical remedies to conjunctivitis in microgravity conditions.

Tell us about your career journey so far

Currently a final year student at the University of Edinburgh with interests in Structural and Fire Safety Engineering. Worked as a Civil Engineer Intern in New Zealand looking at structural timber design (CLT and XLAM) and forensic engineering looking at earthquake damaged properties.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

Maths was always my favourite subject at school. I have always enjoyed solving problems, and I always found maths to be extremely rewarding as you were able to use numbers to solve these problems. I believe that my interest in maths led me to pursuing a career in engineering.

What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?

Having a solid knowledge of Maths and Physics at school level provides a great foundation to build on for Engineering subjects. I would also suggest that an understanding in computer science is very valuable with more and more computing software and technology being used regularly within engineering.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Learning – I love learning new innovative ways to engineer. Learning is one of the most powerful things anyone can do and you can never run out of things to learn about. Continuously gaining knowledge will create new opportunities for you, and it is important to retain an inquisitive and open mind.

What is a normal day in your role like?

Mostly spent on university campus in lectures or workshops. In between those times I spent a fair amount of reading engineering journals and learning about engineering across the globe.

Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?

LEGO!!!! – Building the tallest tower, understanding of yield failure when the tower gets too big.

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The UK-wide STEM Ambassador programme is managed by STEM Learning Limited, which operates the National STEM Learning Network, alongside other projects supporting STEM education. To find out more please go to the STEM Learning website