Women engineers: manufacturing the next generation

Posted on 15 Apr 2016 by Victoria Fitzgerald

Young people cannot aspire to be what they cannot see, which is why it is paramount to raise the profile of successful women in the field. Here are two young women engineers from Lontra making their mark on the industry.

Susana Gomez Sanza – design engineer, Lontra:

Kiran Tailor, project co-ordinator, Lontra.
Kiran Tailor, project co-ordinator, Lontra.

Susana Gomez Sanza is 24 and from Spain. She began working at Lontra in November 2015 as a design engineer.

Gomez Sanza told The Manufacturer, “As a child I always loved fixing things around the house, for example, the pump in the swimming pool. I always enjoyed finding solutions to problems and fixing them.

“I don’t remember exactly when I decided I wanted to study Mechanical Engineering but it seemed like the natural pathway for me and directly related to my personal interests.

“Currently, I am involved in designing the new test and improving rigidity so that we avoid any axial movement so that we can simulate accurate results. I am just working on one part which is coupled to the electric motor. The other team are working on the other part of the new test which simulates the air flow pass.

“As design engineers, our biggest challenge is thinking about everything that is involved at every part. Our project involves all the steps that people in larger engineering companies would tackle together so we each have a lot more responsibility.”

Kiran Tailor – project co-ordinator, Lontra:

Susana Gomez Sanza, design engineer, Lontra.
Susana Gomez Sanza, design engineer, Lontra.

Tailor began her career in engineering and spent two years as a graduate at Cummins, before leaving to go traveling for five months. On her return the 31-year-old found a job at an e-commerce company, but knew she wanted to get back into manufacturing.

Tailor told TM, “I hadn’t heard of Lontra but I found the company interesting. It was a local company, it seemed innovative and imaginative. It looked like they were doing something really different. It meant I could have an important role. I knew I could make my own mark.

“I look at project plans, put together a structure, looking at how it can be better managed in a very tight way with goals and deadlines.”

One project Tailor is working on is the Innovate UK (BladeAir) project and the reporting element for this is crucially important.

“On BladeAir we’ve just completed the first quarter. We have an imminent meeting with Innovate UK. The first claim is being processed. So it’s moving apace.”

A career in manufacturing was the right move for Tailor as it gives her the “freedom to explore different ideas”.

She added, “It’s a collaborative way of working that helps the design process and understanding how things will be made from the get-go.”