Social media has had a big impact on my views, as it has made information about climate change accessible. You can’t know about climate change and not be concerned.
What is your current role?
I’m a mechanical design engineering apprentice at the UK Atomic Energy Authority, working on fusion energy. Fusion energy is a sustainable and carbon-free form of energy. It is engineering which could really improve lives, because if we can get this to the grid, it could change the way we all live. It’s a powerful idea, to think that this job could affect people’s lives in the future.
It’s a challenging but really fun workplace, where I’m surrounded by inspiring people. Within our energy machines we’re creating some of the hottest environments in the atmosphere where temperatures are 10 times hotter than the core of the sun. I’m working hands-on with robots, and my boss is a lead engineer who started as an apprentice.
Why did you want to work in fusion energy?
Social media has had a big impact on my views, as it has made information about climate change really accessible. You can’t know about climate change and not be concerned about the future.
If we don’t tackle climate change, then we’re looking towards a very dark future. Whereas, if we make changes now, and we work together, we can change the path for us all and switch to a brighter one.
- Apprentice mechanical engineer at UK Atomic Energy Authority
- Favourite part of engineering
- Engineering is everywhere you look, it’s in everything
- Qualification path
- GCSEs, A levels, degree apprenticeship
Why do you get into engineering?
Growing up I loved designing things, football and Lego. In my job I get to help design, build and operate robots taking the skills from Lego days into my career. Engineering is everywhere you look, it’s in everything. If you’re passionate about wanting to make a difference, then there’s a way you can become an engineer. You can make a difference through engineering.
What’s it like being an apprentice?
I’d recommend the apprenticeship route to others. I always knew I wanted to go into engineering, but the more I looked into it, the more I realised that an apprenticeship would be the right path for me. Getting real work experiences in a working environment while you’re learning is really helpful.
"You don’t have to be the smartest or have extensive knowledge on a subject to become an engineer. You just need to be willing to learn."— Charlotte Wilkes - apprentice mechanical engineer
Maths, physics and product design, so they lined me up perfectly for this role.
Apprentice at UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)