Katie Tingle probably wasn’t thinking about track geometry when she built her first Scalextric but she grew up to love it.
Watch this film to find out why Katie, a scheme project manager at Network Rail, hopes to see more young women join her on the railway:
Why is now a great time to get into engineering?
There’s a huge investment in so many different areas of engineering. To not get involved now almost seems a waste of that opportunity.
Why do you love engineering?
I love knowing how things work and why things do what they do and react the way that they do, how things all connect together.
There’s so many engineering sort of roles out there that can be used, even from design all the way through to construction and delivery if that’s what you wanted to be.
What was the first thing you ever built?
The first thing I ever built… it’s either going to be a Scalextric or that horrible Mouse Trap game.
What was your first job as an engineer?
My first job as an engineer, I was a principal technical officer and I looked after the track geometry for the route I worked on. So it was all to do with the curvature, the ride that the passenger’s feeling, faults that we can get from having poor track geometry. It was really interesting. It was all to do with the shape of the railway.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Ten years from now, I would love to be chartered yet at the moment I’m working towards my chartership but I’m not quite there yet. I would love to continue to be an advocate for women in engineering and getting girls into [science, technology, engineering and maths] (STEM). I do a lot on the STEM ambassador front. I would just love to see an influx of females in the industry that I’m in.
Why is it important to have different types of people in engineering?
You get your best outputs when you have the most diverse workforce. Everybody has different ways of thinking, different strengths, different past experiences. That if we use only a select few every time, we’re going to get the same outcomes every time. We really need to open up that pool to open up our thinking.
Why do you love working with young people?
I love working with the younger generation of engineers because I absolutely thrive off seeing the enthusiasm. They want to learn, they want to do it. Some of their ideas are absolutely amazing.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Not to give up. Don’t stop trying and if something goes wrong, pick it back up and do it again. Just keep going.
Who’s inspired you?
George Stephenson. It was the era in which he was doing his work… could you imagine? We learnt about George Stephenson at school. It was my first knowledge of railway engineering and a railway engineer. What he did I found quite amazing… and it stuck with me for all these years so I must have found him quite an inspiration.