The Future Engineers Series: Women in Engineering Pt II

Hello and welcome to the second blog in our Future Engineers Series — Women in Engineering. Here we meet Laura Smith, a Senior Fire Engineer at OFR in Leeds who tells us why it’s so important to take every opportunity on your career journey.

“I love my career, but it’s one I found myself accidentally falling into.

“Back when I was applying for university, I came across the Fire and Explosion course at University of Leeds. I did a bit of reading then attended the open day, and from that point I knew it was the career for me.

“There are a number of routes to entry in this field; personally, I completed a three-year degree followed by lots of hands-on experience — trust me, you need to grab every opportunity out there to build your portfolio — including attending conferences and events — you just never know who you’ll meet. There are also lots of routes to fire engineering via a purely academic route.

“I’m still learning lots about this sector of course; back when I was at university, I was unhindered by any worries about a technical career in what some would perceive as a male-dominated profession, but it’s hard now to ignore the opportunities and remuneration discrepancies seen across the industry that men have the advantage on over women. Thank goodness it’s changing for the better, and at OFR I’m surrounded by great colleagues who value my time and experience.

“For now, I’m enjoying working on all of our brilliant projects. I couldn’t choose a favourite, but I do have a soft spot for the Doncaster University Technical College — one of the first schemes I was assigned to when I joined OFR and somewhere which I’m delighted to say will educate the engineers of the future!”


Laura Smith

Principal Fire Engineer

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