25-year-old Low Voltage (LV) Design Engineer Eleanor Faucette joined BGEN’s Derby team at the start of 2023. She was amongst the first ambitious female engineers to be recruited following the creation of the firm’s women’s forum, which was introduced to drive meaningful change across the business and to help create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.
Here Eleanor shares her thoughts on BGEN as an employer, life as a female engineer and the advice she’d give to her younger self and to those starting out in their careers.
How did you begin your career with BGEN?
I joined BGEN to take the next step up the career ladder from my previous role of Junior System Engineer at a systems integration business, which was also active in the industrial and utilities sectors. I was its fifth employee to move over to BGEN, so I’d heard brilliant things from past-colleagues – and friends – whose opinions I trusted.
What is your current role and what does it involve?
I’m a Low Voltage (LV) Design Engineer of custom-built Motor Control Centres (MCCs), which involves lots of different tasks and responsibilities. No two days are the same, and I love it that way.
I design and specify low voltage systems, create detailed engineering plans and drawings from client briefs and select and specify project equipment and materials. I also work closely with our project managers and fabrication, contractor and installation teams who manufacture, install and test them.
What changes are you noticing in the industry?
From my own experience – and within the business as a whole – we’re certainly seeing a big increase in the number of clean energy projects we’re working on. I’m involved in a number of solar powered projects at the moment, and as a business we’re now one of the UK’s largest engineering firms driving the energy transition, including a big push on renewable water sources. 60% of BGEN’s work is energy transition related.
What do you enjoy most about the role?
I have to say that the team here at BGEN is so lovely, which is a massive bonus when we spend so much time and work so closely together.
How has BGEN supported your career progression?
Joining BGEN gave me a great step-up in my career, and I honestly haven’t looked back. Right at the start, I sat down with my managers to discuss what I’d like to achieve here at BGEN and to create my career development plan. I’m already on my way to gaining membership of the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET) and they’re supporting this – and my day-to-day role – brilliantly. I couldn’t ask for better mentors.
How did you enter the engineering industry?
I always loved school design and technology lessons and ended up going to engineering college. During my time there, I did a placement at a company that worked in this field and my career developed from there. I’ve been designing LV panels for over four years now.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I’d say to always ask questions and don’t be afraid of making mistakes as you’ll learn so much from them. Keeping quiet and holding back – or pretending you know what you’re doing, when you don’t – won’t get you very far at all. No one will judge you for asking a question.
What is it like to be a woman in the engineering industry?
Well, we’re still in the minority but I don’t know if clients are more surprised by my gender or age when we first meet. But for me, being a female engineer has never been questioned too much, for which I’m very thankful.
What BGEN has to say about Eleanor.
‘I have worked with Eleanor for years – both here at BGEN and at our previous company. Eleanor has always had a ‘get go’ attitude towards work. She’s never afraid to ask questions, which she learns from. She’s a huge asset to the company. She’s also a great role model for future engineers, of all ages and genders – whether they’re working here now or will do in years to come’Mark Colvin, Senior LV Project Engineer