Harper Adams University BEng (Hons) Agricultural Engineering student Amy Boothby has been awarded a Douglas Bomford Trust Scholarship, which she hopes will help her promote women in engineering.
The 19 year-old from Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, said: “My main reason for applying for this scholarship was not for money, but simply because I want to promote engineering to women.
“At present, approximately only nine per cent of all UK engineers are female; this is a tiny figure! Attracting more females into agricultural engineering would provide much more interesting ideas and solutions because the pool of talent among all engineers would be so much more diverse. I witness this every day. It’s not unusual for me and my female peers to see and think things through very differently to our male peers.
“I believe the majority of young females believe that agricultural engineering involves putting on a boiler suit, fixing tractors and getting covered from head-to-toe in grease; that’s what I used to believe too. My opinion was changed when I went on a business trip during year 11 to Jaguar Land Rover in Solihull.
“During the tour around the factory, I was beyond surprised and my perceptions around engineering were completely changed. I realised that engineering could involve being at the forefront of innovation and solving tomorrow’s problems today.
“I’m an agricultural enthusiast so it made perfect sense when looking for courses to study for me to combine this interest with my ambition to study engineering, leading to agricultural engineering. I chose my A levels (maths, physics and business studies) based on the fact that I intended to study engineering at university and having done my research on different universities, I found that they were the most desirable subjects to study.
“The engineering I study is about designing things, solving problems and making things better for future generations of farmers, so they can keep supplying the world with food.
“Throughout my time studying A levels, and starting university, there have been many ups and downs. It never fails to surprise me how amused some people can be when I tell them that I’m an agricultural engineer.
“It’s been a difficult journey, as most of my time is spent surrounded by a male dominance. And as a female it is sometimes hard to get your voice heard and hold your ground, but I do believe engineering is a fantastic area to work in, and other women should be encouraged into it.
“Receiving a Douglas Bomford Trust Scholarship is brilliant. I’m going to spend some of the money promoting women to consider a career in engineering, particularly setting the principles of engineering out.”
Photo below of Dr Miller, Mr David White, Mr Plom with David Kelso, Hua Ying Baker, William Flittner, Anita Wolf and Amy Boothby