Engineering success stories at BAE Systems: working at the cutting-edge of innovation

Posted on 23 Jun 2023 by Lanna Deamer

In this article, we speak with Tanvi Dosi, Graduate Systems Engineer at BAE Systems. She shares her story on what a great opportunity she has had to work at the cutting-edge of innovation from the start of her career.

Please explain your role at BAE Systems?

I work on computational modelling and simulation for a new energy related concept to see if it is feasible in real life – essentially seeing what the potential drawbacks might be and finding possible resolutions.

My role is very solutions focused, and my day-to-day mostly involves developing the computational model and testing my code. I start work, write new code, run the code and if any issues arise, I’ll have to find out what they are and figure out solutions.

What I love the most about my job is trying new things – it’s very innovative. I am very proud of what I do. What I’m currently doing is all very new stuff that can’t be googled – it makes me feel like I’m on the front line of innovation.

At BAE Systems, you also have the opportunity to take on stretch assignments, where you can take on extra projects to explore the business and learn more about it. For example, I’m one of the UCL reps for BAE Systems, so I get to promote the early careers opportunities to students considering their next steps, which is incredibly rewarding.

How did you get into the industry?

I studied a BSc in Physics for 3 years at Southampton University, and later completed my MSc in Physics and Engineering in Medicine at UCL.

In my first year studying Physics, we got to go to the Isle of Wight to visit a BAE Systems site `– that was my first introduction to the company and it definitely caught my attention. We got to go behind the scenes and see radars and satellite imaging – it was very inspiring and I knew then that I wanted to work for BAE and that it’d be a great way to get into the industry. I then went on to work for BAE Systems as a summer intern after my Undergraduate degree, and later received an offer to join the graduate scheme.

Besides my internship, I was also in the Southampton University formula student team – a motorsport engineering competition between various universities. This was the most important university activity on my CV as it really showed my interest in engineering beyond my course and my ability to balance academic and extracurricular work. This really helped in my application to get me into the industry.

Why do you think days like International Women in Engineering Day are still so important?

Awareness days like this are a great way to inspire younger girls who are unsure of what career to pursue and to let them know that engineering is not only a possibility but an incredibly interesting and exciting industry to join.

It also raises awareness of the lack of women in engineering, and in doing so aims to encourage more to join to level out that imbalance.

BAE Systems empower and advocate for women in engineering all year round, and always treats diversity as a priority when building their workforce. I recently went to a Women in STEM event to represent BAE Systems, where I got to meet many like-minded women wanting to break into the industry. Events like that are a great way to encourage more equality and debunk such attitudes.

How are things progressing when it comes to getting more women into engineering and manufacturing?

I think there has definitely been positive progress regarding stereotyping, but I do think there is still work to be done as there isn’t a 50/50 split of males and females in all STEM industries and professions.

This could just be due to preference but it could also be due to seeing a certain career as suited to a particular gender.

What more needs to happen?

Conversations about the possibilities of engineering need to start early in school settings so different career paths can be explored and considered by young girls.

Introducing the idea of engineering and the different opportunities available in the industry to young females is a good way to open their minds to pursuing a career in this field. There are so many different types of engineering roles available too, so getting a good insight into what’s out there can make a huge difference in finding the perfect route for you.

Seeing more females in engineering roles also makes it more relatable, accessible, and enticing for young females – having the chance to talk to female engineers to find out more about their career paths will definitely help this, as young girls will have role models and mentors in this space to look up to and get advice from.

The best advice I’ve been given is to not let small things stop you from going for something if it’s something you really want. For example, if you don’t meet all the criteria for a job but it sounds exciting to you, you should still apply and give it a go. I would give the same advice to any aspiring female engineer – don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and vouch for yourself.

To read more of our INWED 2023 coverage, check out our headline article here.