"Energy efficiency has become a passion for me. My aim is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, whether that is with my employer or on a national scale and I'm revelling in this opportunity to enthuse people".
Katy Deacon, 27, an Energy Engineer from Cleckheaton, Yorkshire was voted Young Woman Engineer of the Year 2006 by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Katy works for Kirklees Council, Huddersfield, where she helps spearhead the Council's drive to make greater use of renewable energy. She has worked on projects installing wind turbines and solar power systems for schools and colleges.
Energy & Utility Skills asked Katy a range of questions about how she got into the industry and what she likes the most and least about her job - here is what she had to say:
I recently completed my MSc in Advanced Engineering covering subjects including wireless communications, building services power and lighting, solar power, wind power, integration of renewables and low carbon building design. I am now working on obtaining Chartered Engineer (CEng) status and have applied for sponsorship for a 3 year MBA.
I work with our design teams on low energy and low carbon new builds and refurbishments. I carry out project management activities and am responsible for planning, designing and implementing projects.
The main project I am working on at the moment is an automated meter reader (AMR) system which monitors electricity, gas, and water consumption in Council buildings. This currently only covers a number of trial sites but once the trial has completed, I'm hoping that we can roll it out across the authority..
What's it like working in a male dominated environment?
In my job I have never come across any negativity. I have always been part of the team and I know what I am good at. Everybody treats me in a professional way, just like they would anybody else.
What skills do you need?
Engineers need to have good communication skills. There can be lots of technical jargon in the engineering industry but I try to make sure I speak to my customers in clear terms that they can understand. I will empathise with them; I think they really appreciate this. I am good at understanding how people think and I know how to communicate with them.
Engineering is quite a unique career and there are so many exciting opportunities out there. If you have an interest in engineering, just go for it and have the confidence in yourself that you can do it!