Job Title: Deputy Healthcare Lead at Mott MacDonald
When you were a child, what did you dream you would be when you grew up?
When I was younger I wanted to be a Pilot, but I decided that I would take up flying lessons as a hobby rather than a career path (although I’ve only had a couple of lessons so far!).
What excites you most about STEM?
I think STEM is exciting because Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are important because they form the basis of the next generation of innovators.
What do you love about your current job?
I love the fact that my work varies from week to week and that there’s always something new or another challenge to face.
What does a typical day at work involve?
A typical day involves meetings with Clients/Trusts, Estates Managers or Project Teams; carrying out surveys, visiting sites, putting together fee proposals & bids, reports, specifications, drawings, responding to queries / problem solving, as well as general management.
What is the most unexpected thing about your job?
There’s always something new to learn – problem solving at its best.
Did you have any role models when you were younger?
What inspired you to do the job you are doing now?
My Dad was an Electrical Engineer and worked on Healthcare Schemes and such was his enthusiasm for his job, this encouraged me to follow a similar career path (but with a mechanical engineering bias).
What toys or games inspired you during your childhood?
I liked playing Monopoly and computer games.My Dad & I worked on Design Technology Projects together so that probably inspired me.
Your favourite subjects at school?
Physics, Maths & Geography were my favourite subjects at school.
MSc Building Services Engineering Management (Distinction)
BSc Physics (Hons)
HNC Building Services Engineering (Distinction)
A Levels – Physics, Maths, Geography and English (AS Level)
In your words, what is a healthcare engineer?
A Healthcare Engineer covers all aspects of healthcare, ranging from design aspects through to delivery, operations and maintenance of systems.
Your reason for choosing this career? Why Healthcare?
As previously mentioned – my Dad was an Electrical Engineer and worked on Healthcare Schemes and was definitely an inspiration to me.
My Mother, Lesley Long, was a Nurse at Bradford Royal Infirmary and my Grandmother, Stella Kemp, was Matron of Grassington Hospital, so I have strong family links with the healthcare sector!
Tell me about your career path to date?
I joined the Building Services Industry in November 2001 following the completion of my degree in Physics at Leeds University and followed in the footsteps of my late father, Ian Long, in working for DSSR.
I undertook a HNC course in Building Services Engineering at Leeds College of Building between 2001 – 2004. The HNC proved invaluable to my career as it gave me a practical understanding of the fundamental principles of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.
I then went on to study a Masters degree in Building Services Engineering Management via distance learning from Brunel University between 2004 – 2009. I found this quite challenging as I was working on engineering projects during the day; renovating my house on an evening; and had another part-time job at weekends, whilst also trying to study. I was highly driven and determined to succeed and completed my MSc with distinction in 2009.
I also became involved with IHEEM Yorkshire Branch, assisting with branch events and activities and gained a large number of contacts within the Healthcare Sector.
One of my main career goals was to be become a Chartered Engineer by the age of 30, and despite undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the time for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I still achieved CEng Status in 2010.
I took on the role of IHEEM Yorkshire Branch Secretary and Treasurer for a few years and then Chair of IHEEM Yorkshire Branch between 2011 – 2013.
In 2013, I became Chair of the IHEEM Professional Development Committee and continued in this role for the next 5 years (between 2013 – 2018).
In 2019 I became the first female IHEEM Council Member.
Further work undertaken over the past 18 years has enabled me to develop and expand my engineering skills and knowledge to a high level of competency and managerial responsibility. I was promoted to Regional Partner / Director level within DSSR in April 2016 (at the age of 35).
What advice do you have for the Healthcare Engineers of the future?
I think the best advice would be to: ask questions; get a mentor; continue with professional development and keep setting new goals (both in terms of your career and life in general) – and learn people skills!