We enjoyed speaking to Matt, the Local STEM Outreach Coordinator at Stantec. During our visit to the Leeds office, we learnt about his average day at work and we discussed the narrow perceptions that people often have about the engineering industry.

What does Stantec do?
At Stantec we are teams of designers, engineers, scientists and project managers that come together to innovate and design, with the community in mind. We design solutions for our clients within the Water, Buildings, Energy and Resources, Environmental Services and Infrastructure Sectors.

What does your job involve?
I am a designer principally working on water sector schemes, but I’m also heavily involved with STEM outreach activities. I help coordinate Stantec’s local engagement with educational establishments, to hopefully inspire and motivate the next generation of engineers and scientists.

What’s your average day at work?
I work in an office environment at our fantastic Leeds Dock location, collaborating with colleagues to figure out how we move through the design process in order to meet the challenges that our clients set us. My job involves communicating with a wide variety of different people day to day and that’s something I really enjoy about my job.

People often have a narrow perception of what engineering is, how would you describe engineering?
The general perception of engineering is often incorrect. When you look around at anything we interact with in our day to day lives, whether it’s buildings, technology, sports or other types of infrastructure, it’s likely that engineers have had a significant impact on its development. As engineers we solve problems, no matter what they are!

What do you do with UTC Leeds?
We are really pleased to work with UTC Leeds as we do with a number of UTC’s nationally. We hope to help to inspire the next generation of engineers by giving students examples of real world problems that we’re working on and see what their perspective is. Additionally, we work with UTC Leeds to help them with their objectives, we are present at open evenings, assemblies and other forms of engagement.

What sort of skills does it take to become an engineer?
You need a passion for problem solving and generally you need to work well as part of a team to complete projects.

How important do you think it is that we encourage more young women into engineering? What would you say to them?

There have been improvements in the way that industry responds to diversity challenges, such as the lack of women in engineering roles. Companies like Stantec promote engineering as an interesting career for everyone to get involved with. Diversity of our workforce is not only the right thing to strive for, it also helps meet our goals as a company. We firmly believe that a diverse and inclusive staff make up gives us the best chance to be successful in our work, ensuring that experiences and perspectives from a wide spectrum drive our innovation.

It is important that women are encouraged to take up engineering careers when it’s the right thing for them to do. There shouldn’t be any barriers stopping women from achieving their goals and I’m proud to work for a company that takes this so seriously. I would tell them to go for it!

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