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Mandy Youssef in the spotlight

There aren’t many women in STEM industries, much less in engineering – and even fewer women of colour. I was the only woman in my undergraduate degree, and I am still often one of very few women in design team conversations. I am passionate about diversifying the industry and making it accessible to all. As a result, I have partnered with the University of Greenwich to mentor female university students to help pave a road into engineering, boost their confidence and offer an insight into a career in engineering.

In addition to the above, I believe making an impact starts at a young age; after all, I was 14 when I decided I wanted to be an Engineer. This has resulted in me implementing and overseeing several work experience students. I feel this is vital to strengthen the personal attributes of young students and offering them early insight into the field of engineering.

Developing the engineering trade is important to me. As such, I recently appointed BB7’s first female apprentice, and I am a proud member of the University of Greenwich’s Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory board, where I help shape the engineering curriculum, especially with respect to fire Engineering.

Fire Engineering is undergoing a significant skills crisis, and from my own experience and that acquired from the interviews I undertake, several graduates remain unaware of the importance of Fire Engineering. It is critical that we raise the profile of Fire Engineering among university students at UK and Ireland universities – we must inspire, train, and deploy thousands of qualified fire engineers if the UK and Ireland are to remediate thousands of non-compliant buildings and deliver mega projects such as Crossrail and HS2.

I chose fire engineering as a specialism to protect people in their homes, their businesses, their jobs (Fire service), and in the last five years, I’ve helped expand BB7 and make it one of the leading fire consultancies. I remain passionate about driving opportunities for younger people, especially those from diverse backgrounds, and I believe that it is our duty to ensure that a new generation of Fire Engineers enters the industry with the skills needed to thrive.

 

Mandy Youssef
Senior Fire Engineer, BB7