21 Jun 2024

Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2024

This year, as part of International Women in Engineering Day 2024, we sat down with Louise Rushworth who works as an engineer in our Asset Division. Louise shared insights into her role as an Asset Gas Design Engineer, talking about her journey as an engineer and how she applies her 20+ years of engineering experience and expertise.

Can you tell us about your role and responsibilities at Fulcrum Group?

I joined Fulcrum in 2000 and have had several design and engineering roles with the business. Engineering was never my intended career, but I discovered I had a natural skill for it and the business has supported me to develop my engineering expertise over the past 20+ years.

I’m now an Asset Gas Design Engineer, and I ensure that the new gas networks and infrastructure we adopt are designed and installed in a robust, safe, and compliant way. Ensuring the safety and reliability of the gas networks we build and maintain is essential, and it’s my years of engineering expertise that enable me to do this in an effective and value-added way.

What is the most important or rewarding part of your role?

Ensuring that the gas networks that power our homes and businesses are robust, safe, and compliant is an important and essential task and every day and project is different.

My experience in designing new gas networks in the past also provides me with a relatively unique engineering perspective. This allows me to foresee potential challenges and create solutions that enhance safety and efficiency, whilst I validate networks that have been designed by others. I really enjoy using my experience to solve an engineering challenge and, over the years, I’ve been able to use my experience to improve network designs and ensure that the networks we adopt are to the high standards we expect and require.

What kind of support and opportunities have you received to help you grow professionally and advance in your career?

The company’s commitment to continual development has been key to my career longevity and growth, and the support and training I’ve received has helped me to progress in a specialist career in engineering. I’ve had opportunities to gain various qualifications, including GIRS, SHEA Gas, and SCO (Safe Control of Operations) and I’m now working towards EngTech. Fulcrum’s focus on developing the skills of all of its people has allowed me to push myself and achieve my potential.

I’m now expanding my experience and expertise by undertaking more onsite asset integrity inspections, which allows me to see and validate how network and infrastructure designs I’ve approved have been installed and are operating.

What does Women in Engineering Day mean to you, and how do you see it impacting the industry?

Women in Engineering Day is a significant opportunity to highlight the contributions of women in our field and inspire the next generation of female engineers. There are many amazing women engineers in our business, and our industry, and it’s a day to recognise the importance of diversity in engineering. I believe that showcasing successful women in engineering roles can break down stereotypes and encourage more women to pursue careers in this industry. It’s about showing that engineering is a field where everyone can thrive and make a difference.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Engineering is a field full of opportunities, challenges, and rewards. Be curious and determined and seek out mentors who can guide you. Choose a company like Fulcrum that values and supports your growth and provides equal opportunities for all. Continual learning and development are essential, so embrace every chance to gain new skills and qualifications. Most importantly, believe in your potential and the value you can add to enhance the engineering world.