International Systems, Engineering (ISE),
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
As a young girl Nora AlSalhi always enjoyed STEM subjects at school and knew that she wanted to further her education in this area. “There is so much focus on technology and the future of IT and Artificial intelligence,” said Nora “I feel that this field of work will stand the test of time, and will only get more and more interesting in the future, so I was really keen to pursue this type of career."
Graduating from Princess Noura University in 2016 with a degree in Network and Telecommunication Systems, Nora is one of the many young Saudi women that are starting to embark on careers within the defence sector. Nora joined International Systems, Engineering (ISE), a BAE Systems In Kingdom partner company, in June 2020 as a Network Engineer. New to the role and currently shadowing other members of the team to increase her knowledge, she supports the upgrade of network controls within ISE’s Data Centre. In addition to her day job Nora is involved with the Mullhemah committee (which aims to create equal opportunities for women to maximise their potential within BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia) providing assistance to the Chair and was recently involved in a successful proposal on the recruitment of women engineering graduates.
I really enjoy working at ISE, the people are very supportive and it is a great environment for gaining experience. Being part of BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia is also really exciting due to the International nature of the business and the type of opportunities that it can present. Nora, Network Engineer, International Systems, Engineering (ISE).
“I really enjoy working at ISE, the people are very supportive and it is a great environment for gaining experience. Being part of BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia is also really exciting due to the International nature of the business and the type of opportunities that it can present. Ultimately I would like to become a successful professional within networks and cyber security, as well as understand the different business areas. I want to enjoy my career and meet some interesting people on my way."
BAE Systems Australia
Sally joined BAE Systems in December 2017 as an Asset Performance Analyst on the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart vessels (DDG Program). After this she took on the role of DDG Reliability Engineer and is now employed as the DDG’s Senior Modeller. Modelling allows important engineering cost and performance decisions to be made which are evidenced and risk based.
In this position Sally is responsible for the leadership and management of the Modelling Function and provides engineering modelling services throughout the DDG Enterprise. She and her team also instruct subcontractors on modelling requirements and regularly participate in formal and informal design reviews with the Royal Australian Navy.
Throughout the pandemic Sally offered mentoring and support to her team members and to others in the wider DDG Program - particularly those who worked from home. Sally said: "I felt it was important to try and demonstrate leadership by successfully transiting to working from home 1 to 2 days a week whilst continuing to deliver program deliverables." Her success here was demonstrated by a ‘decision support architecture’ she helped shape for the DDG program.
I felt it was important to try and demonstrate leadership by successfully transiting to working from home 1 to 2 days a week whilst continuing to deliver program deliverables. Sally, Senior Modeller, BAE Systems Australia.
Sally has received a ‘Suitable Qualified Experienced Person’ delegation from the Principal Engineer within the DDG and she is now working towards gaining a ‘Principal Engineering’ delegate.
She is a highly respected member of the DDG Enterprise. Sally has been a mentor to a number of engineering graduates at BAE Systems and is an active member of Engineers Australia - recently achieving Chartered Status from the same organisation in the field of Asset Management.
Sally is also an active member of the Asset Management Council of Australia and is currently studying for her Masters in Capability Management through the University of New South Wales. In addition, she is active in her local community in social and welfare related roles and represented New South Wales at the 2019 Lacrosse Field Nationals competition.
Head of Software Engineering and Engineering Lead, National Security - UK Law Enforcement
BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
Clare had no formal computer science education at school, but developed a love of computers in her own time - and she decided that was enough to embark on a Computer Science degree! Fortunately, her degree was sponsored by Sun Microsystems (the inventors of Java) and was very practical, providing a good foundation for industry and is still relevant to her work today.
As a year-in-industry student and graduate, Clare worked at Alenia Marconi Systems developing her skills in Ada 83, 95 and C++ programming. She then joined Evolution as a Java Developer which was then later acquired by Detica which was in turn bought by BAE Systems. So Clare returned to the BAE Systems fold!
At BAE Systems she took a variety of test and development lead roles, before being mentored in Solution Design and winning an innovation award and BAE Systems Chairman’s Award along the way. This culminated in Clare being appointed lead Application Architect for a large and complex critical national project just before going on maternity leave.
Clare has recently taken on the role as Head of Software Engineering, and is focussing on practical improvements to help engineers develop their careers and she is the Career Manager for predominantly female engineers. She understands the unique challenges of navigating a technical career path, and encourages and supports them to reach their potential.
As one of the most senior female engineers in our business I take the time to mentor, encourage others and try to bring them along with me. Clare, Head of Software Engineering and Engineering Lead, National Security - UK Law Enforcement, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
Clare says “In my current role as Engineering Lead for the National Security UK Law Enforcement Account, my absolute favourite part of the job is working alongside other software engineers, passing on knowledge and experience, and helping out practically where I can. As one of the most senior female engineers in our business I take the time to mentor, encourage others and try to bring them along with me.”
Jennifer “Jenn” Epstein, Manager CEMA Engineering
BAE Systems Electronic Systems
Jennifer is a manager in the Electronic Systems Cyber and Electromagnetic (CEMA) Engineering department and the former Systems Engineering Integration and Test lead on the Limited Interim Missile Warning System (LIMWS) program.
She has done an excellent job of coordinating a hybrid and borderless team throughout the pandemic. Several of her colleagues have said that team coordination and communication improved during the pandemic work restrictions, which is a testament to Jennifer’s ability to adapt to the challenge and effectively implement new tools and strategies for leading her team. A recent example of Jennifer’s professionalism and expertise was with a resolution of one of the LIMWS key supplier issues with the customer.
The supplier was failing to meet a specification BAE Systems had established, and the manufacturing screening and testing regime desired by the customer would not have been feasible from a cost or schedule perspective. As the lead on this issue, Jenn coordinated with the supplier and negotiated sampling strategies, developed a deep technical understanding of the issues, performed analyses, coordinated a mod and sim effort on BAE Systems’ side, delivered customer briefings, and wrote the whitepapers used in negotiation with the supplier and the customer.
Queen Elizabeth Carrier Warship Technical Authority Marine Systems Lead Mechanical Engineer
BAE Systems Maritime Services
Growing up Megan always enjoyed making and fixing things, so engineering seemed like a natural career path. A love of the sea led her to join the Royal Navy aged just 16 where she was lucky enough to be sponsored through her A-Levels and a Bachelor of Engineering degree.
What followed was a busy and varied early naval career that took Megan all over the world. She explains:
“As a Marine Engineering Officer I worked in a number of different capacities and served on a variety of different classes of ship, from the old Aircraft Carriers to the Type 23 Frigates.
“As well as time spent at sea, I also had the opportunity to work in the Navy Command Head Quarters and at HMS Sultan where I was responsible for looking after the Marine Engineering Trainees. I was also seconded to the Environment Agency for a time to help them deal with the aftermath of severe flooding in the UK.”
In early 2019 Megan joined BAE Systems after taking a few years out to start a family and study for her Masters of Sciences (MSc) in Marine Surveying.
Go for it! Engineering comes in so many guises, there will always be something to suit you. And at the end of the day, I can only do my job effectively thanks to being part of a very good team - we are all engineering heroes Megan, Queen Elizabeth Carrier Warship Technical Authority Marine Systems Lead Mechanical Engineer, BAE Systems Maritime Services
As a Marine Systems Lead Mechanic in the Maritime Services business, Megan is responsible for solving engineering problems and challenges to ensure that the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers are kept safe at sea.
“In the case of a flood for example my team would be tasked with carrying out damage surveys and defining the full repair scope”, says Megan. “These are very dynamic high tempo tasks, but I loved the engineering challenges the job presents on a daily basis.”
Does she have any advice for girls and women who might be interested in pursuing a future career in engineering?
“Go for it! Engineering comes in so many guises, there will always be something to suit you. And at the end of the day, I can only do my job effectively thanks to being part of a very good team – we are all engineering heroes!”
Platform Engineering Manager
BAE Systems Australia
Georgia joined BAE Systems Australia in January 2020 as the DDGSPO Platform (Hobart Class of ships) Engineering Manager, and is responsible for the management and leadership of a joint customer and industry team of BAE Systems engineers and multi-disciplined Navy personnel ranging in ranks from Lieutenant Commander to Petty Officer. This team liaises with Ships Staff and contractors to deliver and manage packages of engineering work to maintain and support the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart Class (DDG) vessels.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Georgia put in place arrangements to ensure she could attend on-site meetings in person as well as keeping members of her team safe. Her attendance at face-to-face meetings was necessary for her to carry out her role as Platform Engineering Manager - and could not be achieved remotely. She also attended face-to-face activities (meetings, ‘ship checks’ etc) on behalf of her team.
To facilitate this, Georgia travelled from her home in Newcastle (two hours from the office in Sydney) on a Monday and back again on a Wednesday. She ensured all meetings were scheduled from Monday to Wednesday, and liaised with her team daily to covey information, establish any further ‘on-the-ground’ activity requirements and more importantly, to see how they were coping. She would work from home on Thursday and Friday, limiting her exposure as much as practicable.
Georgia’s commitment to her team increased her already large workload, but her actions continued BAE Systems’ representation at the vast majority of Commonwealth meetings and allowed Georgia to respond in person to questions and solve any issues quickly, to continue her and her team’s support of the DDG ships.
Georgia’s engineering expertise has led to her receiving a number of customer delegations from the Principal Engineer within the Hobart Class DDG Enterprise. These include ‘Principal Engineering’ delegate, ‘Suitable Qualified Experienced Person’ and ‘Design Acceptance Review’ delegate.
She is also an exemplar to future engineers. She holds ‘CPEng’ status in three disciplines with ‘Engineers Australia’ and is an active member of the organisation. Georgia consistently mentors others - often sought out for her knowledge of engineering systems by all within the DDG Enterprise, including Royal Australian Navy personnel.
Integration Manager - International New Business
BAE Systems Air, UK
Jade has been with BAE Systems for more than two decades, working across a number of different roles and teams.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1995, Jade applied for a role as a Systems Engineer with the company, a role which saw her managing technical modifications to existing systems, such as Radar Control Display Panels, but felt the pull towards jobs that involved more complex maths and physics. She soon moved into Electromagnetic Engineering, undertaking a series of roles that allowed her to become a true generalist.
Alongside developing her technical skills, Jade was also keen to develop her leadership skills, undertaking a Project Management role on the Corporate Engineering Council, before returning to BAE Systems’ military aircraft business, providing functional leadership of over 80 engineers. In her current role as Integration Manager – International New Business, Jade provides technical support to the Central Training Team, and is working to position our air business as a synthetics-led, Training Service Integrator, underpinned by a through-life secure digital backbone, which is of huge importance to customers.
One of the reasons Jade has stayed with the company for more than two decades is the flexibility Jade has to give back to her community. She said: “BAE Systems knows that flexible work is important for every lifestyle. It’s not just for working parents; the business values the commitments of all employees - whether they’re a carer, a community leader, or in my case, volunteering as a Magistrate. The company provides 13 days of paid leave to support various roles serving the community and when I’ve used my volunteer leave, I’m able to work extra hours from home to make up for my time on the bench. It allows me to enjoy variety and give back at the same time."
I want women to know that there really nothing to stop you pursuing a career in engineering, including a specialism like Electromagnetics. In a company like BAE Systems - there’s no barrier. Jade, Integration Manager - International New Business, BAE Systems Air
“But it’s more than that. BAE Systems is an incredibly broad organisation - you can have a completely different career just by moving office. I’ve worked on projects across submarines, in procurement, and in maritime supporting the development of the new aircraft carriers. I haven’t felt the need to leave the company to progress.
“BAE Systems prides itself on being an equal opportunity employer – and I’ve always felt like I’ve had the most incredible opportunities to develop and progress here, which is very important to me. I’ve heard stories elsewhere in STEM-related industries where women say their experience has been very different to mine. But I want women to know that there really nothing to stop you pursuing a career in engineering, including a specialism like Electromagnetics. In a company like BAE Systems - there’s no barrier.”
Director of the Cyber Resilience Capability Group
BAE Systems Electronic Systems
Vikki is the Director of the Cyber Resilience Capability Group. Vikki is responsible for the Information Assurance (IA) and Cybersecurity requirements of Federal, U.S. Department of Defense and Intelligence Community programs and has led her team and the IA community across multiple sectors, working tirelessly throughout the pandemic.
Her team has always been borderless (direct staff in San Diego, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Reston, Virginia), so Vikki was able to quickly adapt her quarterly Inc. Cyber Working Group meetings to a virtual format. In addition to her day job, Vikki is Vice President of Operations for the Women’s Inclusive Network Employee Resource Group and is very active in her local STEM community.
Vikki is a true “hero” and model for BAE Systems engineers and their community; she is a retired Naval Reserve Officer who served her country in both active and reserve status for 29 years earning five Navy Commendation Medals, four Navy Achievement medals and two Coast Guard Achievement Medals.
An engineering badge for the Girl Guiding movement
Lauren, Beth and Sophie
BAE Systems Submarines, BAE Systems Air, UK
When Lauren, Beth and Sophie from our Submarines business in the UK recognised an opportunity to inspire the next generation of engineers through the Girl Guiding movement, they set about developing a bespoke engineering challenge badge.
Working in partnership with GirlGuiding North West and forming a team called ‘G-Eng’, the ‘Clever Cogs’ badge programme they created was the first of its kind for the Guiding movement.
Since its launch in 2017, the ‘Clever Cogs’ programme, has been completed by 20,800 girls aged 5 – 24 across the UK and is the most popular badge Girlguiding North West England has ever run. The programme includes 13 different activities providing a greater insight into what engineering is - and includes information about inspirational female engineering role models who have excelled in their fields. To achieve the badges, girls have to complete a number of hands-on activities ranging from building mechanical hands to making their own lava lamps.
We want to change the way girls think about engineering and creating a badge within a female-led, empowering organisation felt like a really practical way of showing what engineering is really all about. Sophie, BAE Systems Air
Due to the popularity of Clever Cogs - the G-Eng team and Girlguiding North West England then developed a series of ‘expansion packs’. The first expansion badge, launched on International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) in 2019, was themed around Transportation Engineering and includes a number of fun and engaging activities to educate on various elements of transportation engineering. On INWED 2020, the next expansion pack was launched, themed around environmental engineering (see our STEM resources on this page).
Sophie, now with BAE Systems’ Air business said: “Our engineering background and our passion to increase the number of female engineers in the UK led to our lightbulb moment. We want to change the way girls think about engineering and creating a badge within a female-led, empowering organisation felt like a really practical way of showing what engineering is really all about. It’s been brilliant to see how this has taken off and I hope has inspired girls to find out more about careers in engineering.”
The G-Eng team has now also created a specific programme for Girl Guides Singapore called ‘She Solves’, to find out more watch the video below.
Next, the team plan to work to bring the programme to Australia and also expand the ‘She Solves’ programme into Malaysia.