Jemma Ashford – AE Global

I have always had a love for Maths and Physics, so when it came to choosing my A-Levels I knew these had to be a part of it. It was only when it came to applying for University I thought the best way to continue learning these subjects in a more practical way would be through Mechanical Engineering.

In 2018 I graduated with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Queens University Belfast. During my degree I had the opportunity to work on many individual and group projects. They really showed me that possibilities were endless with engineering. One project included developing a lightweight folding bicycle that would fit into a specific locker, another project was running a satellite through thermal analysis software to determine what coat of paint would allow the satellite to function to the best of its ability for as long as possible.

My path, due to unforeseen circumstances, did not include a year on placement. When I thought about my next steps after university I would panic, I didn’t have any “real life experience” and as a result didn’t even know if I would like the day-to-day life of an engineer. When it came to applying for jobs, I thought this would leave me at a real disadvantage. Thankfully it did not. In 2019 I started working with AE Global.

AE Global are Mechanical and Electrical contracting specialists based in Derry. I didn’t realise there was such a brilliant opportunity right on my doorstep. I started in AE Global as an engineering technician and spent time working under more experienced members of the team, absorbing as much information as possible. In the 4 years with the company, I have worked my way up to a project management role. Working with AE Global has provided me with opportunities to visit multiple sites and work with a range of clients across many different industries such as pharmaceutical/ oil & gas. I have gained a lot of practical knowledge and confidence in my abilities and can honestly say that I love the line of work I am in.

Engineering is challenging but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have always thoroughly enjoyed learning new things and in the future I hope to take part in multiple courses and events that further develop me professionally and personally. The main goal I have for my future would be becoming a Chartered Engineer and I look forward to what this journey brings.