Engineer Profile: Joanna Walsh

Engineer Profile: Joanna Walsh

Case Studies Engineer Profile: Joanna Walsh

JOANNA WALSH, SENIOR PROGRAMME MANAGER

What do you do at the MTC?

I am a Senior Programme Manager. I am responsible for ensuring that the Aerospace projects here at the MTC are delivered to time and cost by managing them myself or supporting those that are managing and ‘doing’ the project. This may be all internal facing or also working with the customer.

What path did you take to get here?

I started as an apprentice electrician on leaving school where I also studied part time for my ONC and HNC. After this I continued to study my degree part time whilst continuing employment; I got paid to do all my studies!

Once I had my BEng Electronics I moved from maintenance roles to work for a systems integrator where I became a Controls Engineer. I had various roles as a Controls Engineer, increasing my industrial experience and seniority. I worked in logistics, designing and installing conveyor systems in warehouses then in airports, designing, installing and commissioning baggage handling systems in Cork, Heathrow and Gatwick. I left this to become a Senior Research Engineer here at the MTC, then moved across to project management. It was whilst an SRE here that I finally got around to becoming chartered.

Which engineering innovations excite you the most?

I am always fascinated by medical engineering although that is not something we do too much of here. There are some great breakthroughs in this field including the use of gold to target treatments directly into cancerous tumours.

Why is the Tilly Shilling initiative important?

It provides a platform for MTC personnel to raise issues regarding diversity both internally and externally. It provides a common forum for likeminded STEM enthusiast to share their enthusiasm with groups from schools and other organisations for youngsters.

What advice would you give to someone interested in a career in STEM?

It is so diverse that there will be something that suits you perfectly. If you don’t find it immediately, don’t ever give up. Always take the opportunities to learn and remember that learning doesn’t have to be ‘head in a book’, it comes in all shapes and sizes and is a fulfilling past-time. Be prepared to share your knowledge (appropriately), keeping it to yourself inhibits progress and is boring!

Who is your favourite engineer in history?

No idea, I don’t even have a favourite colour or food or anything else. There are so many people who have done so many inspiring things, not all of whom have been appropriately recognised. I think every innovator in engineering (they aren’t all recognised as engineers) deserves to be on the list, whether it be, DaVinci or Dyson or that person who had just one idea that sparked a new field of engineering in a whole load of others.


Related information

New high spec equipment and software for research projects is continually coming into the business. This gives many training opportunities and with work being so varied I don't think I would ever have the opportunity to get bored at the MTC. The MTC is also very determined to progress engineers to chartered status. This supports my development but also awards me with an internationally recognised qualification.
Mehul Parmar
MTC Assembly Systems