9 July 2019
In response to “International Women in Engineering Day” on Sunday 23rd June, nine female Army Cadets from Essex ACF joined 130 other female cadets from across the eastern region to spend the weekend at Chetwynd Army barracks in Chilwell near Nottingham. They took part in Exercise Sapper Cadet organised by female soldiers from the Royal Engineers (also known as Sappers)
There were presentations followed by question and answer sessions from inspirational speakers both civil and military engineers. Ms Yuli Rigby, a civil engineer, explained her path into engineering which lead to her job designing a mesh which supports structures such as buildings and roads. The company she works for produced a mesh to support a 60m wall in Dubai and a new road system in the Falklands.
Captain Jo R Ellett RE explained how she helped to design the new VIRTUS Body Armour System currently used by the Army. She told cadets about how she became involved in the Army’s female bob slay team. Capt Ellett also talked about her progress through secondary school and university before going to Sandhurst, and described the benefits of taking STEM subjects at school (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
Sapper Ochieng from the Royal Logistics Corps talked about her journey from Kenya to join the Army and how, as a mother of two small children, Army life fits into family life.
Cadets discussed diversity and inclusion in the Army.
The cadets also built a Da Vinci bridge, a power line and a water purification and delivery system whilst learning about the Army’s role in building and re building communities around the world. They tackled the difficulties of navigating a seven-seat bike around a course with a blindfolded navigator and looked at metal detectors and other equipment like the Valon, Horn and Goldie used by search teams.
By the end of the weekend the cadets had a much better idea of how a job in engineering might suit them and the opportunities available to them.
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