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‘International Women in Engineering Day’- an interview with Ellie Edbrooke

21 June 2019

Author: The Greenpower Team

To celebrate ‘International Women in Engineering Day’ we asked Renishaw graduate, Greenpower team member and driver, Ellie Edbrooke, to talk about her journey into engineering and how her work with Greenpower has really benefited her.

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“I always had an interest in science and maths at school, particularly physics and biology and wanted to continue studying both subjects. In 2010, my school became involved with the Greenpower project, I signed up and really enjoyed it and have been involved with them ever since. I used my experiences and the knowledge I’d gained through Greenpower to apply for an Arkwright scholarship (for aspiring engineers) which I was awarded in 2012.

Greenpower gave me the idea that engineering could be a career for me, however I was also interested in a career in medicine and explored this by undertaking several work experience placements whilst I was still at school. With my interest in biology and engineering, I initially made the decision to study Medical Engineering at University, but unfortunately, I didn’t get the required A-level grades and opted for Medical Physics instead.  I was still keen to pursue engineering but this slight change in my plans did knock my confidence and I did wonder if it was still an option for me.

I then spent my summer working in a university research lab and another working in the medical physics department of my local hospital and decided to complete a year in industry.  I attended the 2015 Greenpower international final and visited the Renishaw display tent. This is where I first heard about Renishaw and its work in healthcare. I applied and was accepted for an industrial placement which then lead to me being offered a place on their graduate scheme after finishing my degree.

In my role, I’ve been working on implants for delivering drugs to the brain; this is to try and treat degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. My department also works on technology that enables surgeons to implant electrodes that send electrical signals through the brain to minimise the tremors caused by Parkinson’s. Whilst this doesn’t cure the disease, it does help to reduce some of the patients’ symptoms and give them better quality of life and its great to be able to work on something that can really make a difference to someone’s life.

Now that I’m back at Renishaw I’m involved with the Greenpower team, driving and working on one of their cars; I also volunteered to help out with the Goblins events held at Renishaw sites in Gloucestershire and South Wales.  I know how much Greenpower influenced me and I’m keen that other students have the same access to it as I did.

Greenpower has helped me in my career by giving me that initial spark of interest in engineering. It has also been a good opportunity to show that I have the interest and enthusiasm for engineering outside of academic studies, which I believe helped in getting my industrial placement position. It has not only helped in engineering skills but other skills that I can apply to my workplace such as communication and teamwork.”

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