Nicola Asker

Network Analyst, National Grid
Go to her Profile

"Your skills are needed so if you want to make a difference to people's lives, this is a great way to do it."

INTERVIEW DATE November 8, 2016
HER JOB Network Analyst, National Grid
Engineering Careers
Electrical |
Your skills are needed so if you want to make a difference to people's lives, this is a great way to do it.
Nicola Asker, National Grid

ADDEDTuesday, November 8, 2016

  • Q
    Describe what you do in your current work situation?
    A
    I am part of a team which designs the future gas transmission network for the UK. My particular role is maintaining our view of all the planned work over the next ten years and looking at how these are funded through our relationship with our regulator.
  • Q
    Why did you choose engineering?
    A
    I chose engineering because I really enjoyed both maths and physics but wanted to be able to apply them practically to make a difference to people's lives.
  • Q
    Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
    A
    I went to the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow to study a Masters degree in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.
  • Q
    What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
    A
    I usually work at a desk and use a lot of Excel spreadsheets but most of my time is spent talking to colleagues to get updates on what is happening for different projects.
  • Q
    What do you like best about being an engineer?
    A
    I like knowing that my job, though only a small part, makes sure that everyone in the UK has a safe supply of gas and electricity.
  • Q
    Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
    A
    As well as my main role, I look after the new graduates joining the company for our department. I am very proud of how they progress and my part in encouraging them and advising them.
  • Q
    What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
    A
    Studying for my masters took a lot of work as it was two degrees at once meaning we had a LOT of lectures as well as a wide range of project work. Thankfully, I really enjoy learning like that and came out with the highest level for my Masters.
  • Q
    Please tell us a little about your family.
    A
    I grew up in Scotland and have three younger brothers ranging from 23 to 9 years old. They all still live in Scotland so I don't get to see them as often as I'd like but stay in touch and encourage the younger ones to enjoy their science.
  • Q
    What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
    A
    In the short term, my priorities are to make some improvements with the systems I use and move into a role with slightly more responsibility as well as start a family. In the long term, my only goals are to continue working at National Grid in roles where I am challenged and enjoy my work.
  • Q
    What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
    A
    I was probably only aware of engineering as a career option because my step-dad is an electrical engineer but all the choices I've made have been based on what I enjoy doing.
  • Q
    What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
    A
    Don't make assumptions about the type of work it will involve as there are thousands of different things that engineers do and they can be creative as well as logical. Your skills are needed so if you want to make a difference to people's lives, this is a great way to do it.
  • Q
    Any other stories or comments you would like to share with EngineerGirl visitors?
    A
    Your skills are needed so if you want to make a difference to people's lives, this is a great way to do it.
  • Q
    Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
    A
    I love writing letters and craft activities like making cards to send to my friends around the world. I read when I can and enjoy all sorts of different books from Terry Pratchett to Jane Austen and Agatha Christie.