The International Women in Engineering Day Series: Meet Sam

23rd June is International Women in Engineering Day and to celebrate, we’re hearing from the great women in our business, as they talk about their careers in this sector. 

Today, we meet Sam Bryant who was last year crowned as the Women in Fire Safety Rising Star. Edinburgh-based Sam talks about her childhood love of Lego, and how her passion for seeing the end-product helps her today.

What is your role at OFR?

I am a Fire Engineer, joined OFR almost two years ago as a Graduate Fire Engineer. I look over architectural drawings, and see how they compare to guidance, write reports to aid the design team in understanding the fire safety requirement applicable for each building. 

What do you love about the work you do?

I love working on tangible projects, where I can see the finished results in the form of a building. It gives me a massive sense of accomplishment to see our work come to fruition. 

What made you pursue a career in engineering?

I’ve always loved problem solving and working on projects that result in something being made at the end. As a child, I played a lot with Lego and was very crafty! Being an engineer allows me to continue that, working on problems and seeing a physical end result. 

Who’s your inspiration? Either in engineering or in another sector?

I never really had a role model as a child, but my inspiration now is to be the sort of person a young me would have looked up to. I want to try and make the world a bit better, a little bit at a time. I want to show young girls that STEM isn’t an intimidating ‘boys club’, that having mental health issues doesn’t mean you can’t have a full time, rewarding job, and that in a changing world, anything is possible. 

Have you faced any challenges as a woman in this sector?

During my time at university, I worked as a trainee site manager on a school build. One of the problems I faced back then was getting respect from the subcontractors on site, some of whom were not keen on being told what to do by a young woman half their age.

I was the only woman on that site, and while most of the guys I worked with were very supportive, even giving me tips and showing me how things worked on site, there were some who just refused to respect me. It was a bit daunting, but I would say the amount of support I got did outweigh the trouble I got!

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