To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day we're sharing individual stories of women engineers from across UKCRIC member institutions.
Tell us about your role and what you find most exciting about it.
I am a research fellow at Cranfield University. My research activities focus on resources recovery with a specific reference to water recycling and reuse. In recent years, I have worked on a variety of research projects on water reclamation, managed aquifer recharge, water governance, nutrient removal and recovery in France, Australia and the UK. What I find most exciting about my role is to work with colleagues from around the globe and across various sectors on water reuse solutions to fight water scarcity, hence contributing to a more sustainable management of our water resources and playing my part in our adaptation to climate change.
What inspired you to become an engineer?
I have always been curious to understand how things were made and worked, and always had a preference for scientific topics at school, especially chemistry. My elder sister, who studied science to a postgraduate level, was a great inspiration to me, proving to me that girls in science and technology could make it!
How do you balance your professional and personal lives?
Since having children, I have decided to work part-time to help balance my professional and personal lives. It is not always easy, but I feel lucky to be able to pursue a career in science and engineering with some flexibility in my working patterns, and enjoy precious time with my family…And I try as much as possible to keep my computer off at the weekends.
In your opinion is there more that can be done to encourage a greater diversity of people into engineering careers?
Yes. Create more opportunities to educate and engage children in schools from an early age with engineering (and more broadly science) in fun and creative ways to illustrate how fundamental science concepts are applied day-to-day and how a career in engineering can benefit our society.
What advice would you give for anyone interested in pursuing an engineering career?
Be curious and look around for opportunities to learn more about careers in engineering: Discuss with engineers, apply for internships to experience what it is like etc. to make sure this is what you want.
Dr. Kristell Le Corre Pidou is a Research Fellow in Water Reuse at Cranfield University.