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Emma Thomas - WISE Young Women's Board 2015/16

Emma Thomas, WISE Young Women's Board

Analyst at Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA)

I currently work for ADBA in their Policy department which sounds removed from STEM, I assure you it is not; it’s a mixture of science, engineering and maths. My job is to understand how food and waste breakdown to give the UK electricity and gas (science), and how that process works to generate electricity and gas (engineering). My role is to understand how policy changes from the government, could affect the Anaerobic Digestion market technology, research & innovation and how technology is used in the UK in the next 5,10, 20 years (maths).

Before working at ADBA I worked at Virgin Media in their Mechanical and Electrical department which is where I won the Engineering Everywoman award.

At Virgin Media I worked in their Mechanical and Electrical department working on a variety of projects from renewable technology to Datacentre Management to Risk Management. Before working at Virgin Media, I studied MEng in General Engineering with Sustainability at the University of Warwick, where I started promoting STEM careers to school students. 

I started this journey when I was 16 years old, when I decided to study for a BTEC in Engineering. I chose this route because, I know I am not good at exams and wouldn’t have done well at A-levels. I didn’t know what to expect from this choice but have not been disappointed in the level of creativity, empowerment and breaking boundaries that Engineering has to offer.

I’ve been an advocate for the career since 2009, where I started to run outreach workshops in schools focusing on Engineering in an International Development environment. Since then I have attended career and networking events as a key note speaker, facilitator and a participant. I’ve previously lead an National Outreach Programme and appreciate how key STEM workshops, events and career discussions are to both teachers, students and parents alike; they’re avenues to see what the industry is like and how to start a STEM career.

I love how Engineering and STEM can bring everyone’s skills together; it’s incredibly versatile - your education is just the beginning of your career. Engineering is more than just maths and more maths, it can save lives through bio-medical advancements, help communities out of poverty in the developing world, keep you safe in your home through developing security and many, many other things.

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