Personal profile


As the great granddaughter, granddaughter, daughter, niece, wife, mother and aunt of engineers, I feel duty bound to investigate the current situation where only 9% of practising professional engineers in the UK are women (Women’s Engineering Society, 2016).  My uncle published a book about my great grandfather’s exploits with steam locomotives when he started working at Crewe in 1866 (Burgess, 1983) and I feel that many people still perceive engineering in this way.  Consequently engineering is not viewed as a twenty-first century occupation (particularly for women) and the innovative and life-changing work of today’s engineers is not appropriately assigned to the world of engineering.

Futures in Engineering: Informing Policy and Practice and Developing Future Research Agendas via Existing Research

Working with Dr Maria Pampaka, we have been awarded funding by the ESRC IAA to inform policy and practice so that changes can be made to current approaches to the recruitment and retention of engineering students and practising engineers. This will be achieved by reflecting on evidence from our previous and ongoing studies with various groups including industry, academia, schools and interested networks and individuals.




Burgess, H.C.H. (1983). Working with LMS Steam. Cornwall: Bradford Barton Ltd.

Women’s Engineering Society (2016). Women in Engineering Statistics. Stevenage: Women’s Engineering Society.

Further information

Highly Commended in the Research Staff Strategy Group Excellence Awards for the Best Outstanding Contribution to the Research Environment by Research Staff.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Education, Questioning and Cohesion in Early Years Science Discourse, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 17 Jul 2008

Master of Science, MSc in Educational Research, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 19 Dec 2003

Master in Science, MSc in Science (with distinction), The Open University

Award Date: 4 Jul 2003

External positions

Committee Member, Engineering Professors' Council Recruitment and Admissions Committee

11 Jun 2014 → …


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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