Female Engineers Tour HMS Queen Elizabeth

Female Engineers Tour HMS Queen Elizabeth

Sixteen of the country’s best and brightest young female engineers were filled with inspiration after visiting Britain’s biggest warship HMS Queen Elizabeth.


The undergraduates from the Brunel University branch of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) were given a personal tour of the 65,000-tonne new carrier – unveiled to the world last week as Her Majesty the Queen officially named the ship in Rosyth.

The London-based students were invited to tour the state-of-the-art warship as part of an initiative to promote the role of women in engineering in general and provide the visitors with an insight into the role of female engineers in building the carrier with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance and running the ship as a Royal Navy engineer officer.

Babcock engineers Jen McGinley and Laura Porter did the former, while from the ship’s company Petty Officer (Weapon Engineer) Steph Simpson and Chief Petty Officer (Marine Engineer) Lyndsay Oldridge shared their experiences.

PO Simpson offered an insight into the Queen Elizabeth’s innovative automated weapons-handling system and communications network and CPO Oldridge provided her expertise on the marine engineering side of the ship – the power and distribution system and its component elements, and the ship’s systems, from chilled and fresh water to sewage treatment plants and fuel management.

The highlight for the students was a comprehensive tour of the carrier from the bowels to the bridge.

They were shown one of the smaller diesel engines – far larger than any of them had ever experienced before.

When coupled with the Queen Elizabeth’s other power plants, the ship generates approximately 110 Megawatts of power.

All the visitors – studying across the engineering spectrum: mechanical, social, civil, biomedical and aerospace – were struck by the scale of the Queen Elizabeth project (each of the two ships comprises in excess of 17 million parts).

Press Release, July 09, 2014; Image: UK Navy