International Women’s Day – Jessica Cookson Q&A



International Women’s Day – Jessica Cookson Q&A

Q. Name, job title & what do you do?

Hello, my name is Jess! I work as a mechanical design engineer at Advanced Electric Machines, designing sustainable electric motors.

Q. What did you want to do when you were at school?

At school I went through a wide range of dream jobs: engineer, doctor, teacher, vet etc. I was particularly good at maths and science and was very curious as to how things work! During my A-Levels I studied mechanics in further maths and found it very interesting.

Q. How did you get into Engineering?

After studying mechanics at A-level I went on to study engineering at Newcastle university. I have a Masters degree in Mechanical engineering with Mechatronics and used this to get my first job as an engineer at Advanced Electric Machines.

Q. What’s the best thing about your job?

My favourite part of the job is working on completely new designs. It is very rewarding to see something you have worked on from scratch turn into a real, tangible object and even more rewarding if it works first time!

Q. Whats the most challenging thing about your job?

The most challenging part of my job is problem-solving when things don’t work. Some problems that arise with prototypes, no matter how small they may seem, can take a lot of time to work through and test. It can also be very frustrating when models, calculations or simulations aren’t behaving like you want them too. But all the work is worth it when you find a solution.

Q. What does a typical day in your job involve?

A typical day consists of independent design work: research, 3d modelling, calculations and simulations. However, it also involves a great deal of collaborative time too, reviewing designs and discussing ideas. My job involves interaction with our suppliers and discussions between departments to ensure that my designs are feasible, cheap and won’t cause issues during assembly! I also spend time on the shop floor with the manufacturing team discussing problems/improvements so that we can create a better product.

Q. What would you say to girls in school/college who may be considering Engineering as a career?

A career in engineering is very rewarding. If you are interested then it is never too early to get involved, get work experience or learn new skills like coding. There are a lot of different areas of engineering to explore and find out what interests you. Good luck with your future careers!

Q. What are your hopes for the future of Engineering?

My hope is for more development into sustainable engineering practices at all levels, from the sourcing of materials up to the finished product. Making sustainable designs more readily available and affordable to everybody.