23 June 2017 sees International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), which aims to celebrate the achievements of women engineers, and to focus on the many amazing careers on offer to young and aspiring female engineers.
To celebrate INWED we profile TWI's Dr Philippa Moore.
A role model for aspiring engineers is TWI’s Dr Philippa Moore, who leads the Tipper Group, TWI’s female engineer network, as well as manage a team of four other engineers in her role as Team Manager for Fracture Testing and Material Characterisation.
Philippa has been with TWI for 14 years, the last two as Team Manager. Her role includes responsibility for a team of four engineers who deliver fracture toughness testing services for TWI, as well as being TWI’s primary contact for enquiries relating to fracture toughness testing, and for identifying and delivering research on fracture toughness testing related issues. Philippa also chairs the BSI ISE/101/04 British Standards sub-committee for BS 8571:2014 on the standardisation of SENT testing, and is a member of BSO and ISO committees for fracture toughness test standards.
Some of Philippa’s interesting projects during her TWI career include managing a project to replicate weld metal from the 1960s by sourcing equivalent consumables, getting weld trials done, and then characterising the fracture toughness of those welds. She also enjoyed leading a failure investigation into an offshore crane failure, understanding the sequence of cracks and how that had been affected by weld quality.
Philippa lectures on the IIW Welding Engineering Diploma, and wrote a textbook to accompany the course in 2014, ‘The Welding Engineer’s Guide to Fracture and Fatigue’. She also co-authored research report RR509 (2006) for the UK’s Health & Safety Executive on ‘Plant Ageing: Management of Equipment Containing Hazardous Fluids or Pressure’ - a major influence on UK industry. As well as writing several articles on fracture and structural integrity for TWI Philippa has published more than 30 papers in various international journals and conferences.
Chartered Engineer registration
Achieving a recognised level of professional experience spurred on Philippa to progress towards registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng). She felt that having CEng status would also help with transitioning back into the workplace after taking a career break.
Philippa’s advice to anyone considering professional registration is to seek a mentor who can help identify relevant working experience, or where there are gaps that need addressing, to boost your confidence in submitting a good application. Philippa admitted that the benefits to becoming a CEng have led her to establish herself as an expert in her field as well as becoming more involved with The Welding Institute as a volunteer. Philippa is one of The Welding Institutes dedicated and integral volunteers and often acts as a Professional Review Interviewer, adviser and assessor to others seeking membership and registration. On top of this Philippa is helping to inspire and celebrate diversity across the organisation through her voluntary work in running and promoting the activities of the Tipper Group.
Women in engineering at TWI
Twenty-five per cent of TWI’s workforce is made up of female engineers, either qualified or qualifying. This is in sharp contrast to the national trend of just 6%. Through TWI’s outreach work to local schools and colleges, staff and volunteers are able to inspire young girls with fun activities such as The Welding Institute’s popular Welding with Chocolate programme, the experiment Philippa invented while on maternity leave.
With higher than average levels amongst postgraduate students studying at TWI-managed National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) there are positive signs that the situation is improving. At the recent NSIRC Annual Conference, for example, over a third of the papers presented by student engineers were by female PhD students.
To celebrate this year’s event the Tipper Group will be coordinating a breakfast networking event where staff and students can share their nuggets of ‘best advice ever given’ and discover more about their female engineering colleagues working and studying across the organisation.
International National Women in Engineering Day is an awareness campaign run by the Women’s Engineering Society to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available.