June 21, 2019, by Katie Andrews
#INWED19: Liliana De Lillo
To mark International Women in Engineering Day on Sunday 23 June, we spoke to some of the inspirational women here at the University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Engineering.
Liliana De Lillo
The first ever female Principal Research Fellow for the Power Electronics, Machines and Control Research Group.
What inspired you into your career in engineering?
My wonderful father was a mechanical engineer and I have spent many hours in his workshop learning about marine motors, electronics and tools, always been fascinated by it and always been encouraged by my family to look into a career in engineering, never mind if I was the oldest of three girls.
What project(s) are you working on at the moment?
I have been working on a 10 year research programme on integrated variable speed drives.
What impact is expected from the projects you are working on?
The technology that I have been working on if commercialized could potentially disrupt the world of industrial variable speed drives, introducing a more efficient, reliable and cost effective alternative solution to the present already available on the market. Efficiency is the most interesting aspect of this technology as it will lead to substantial energy savings worldwide.
Is there anything you wish you were told about engineering beforehand?
I wish I could have had more guidance throughout the University years. I can’t forget when I started University in a class of 300 students only 4% of them where girls and half of them dropped out of the degree course over the years.
What do you think other women need to know about a career in engineering?
Like any other career it requires determination, perseverance and hard work to succeed.
What would you say to women who are thinking about a career in engineering?
We are not special cases just because we decide to go into engineering, go for it because you love it, enjoy, you want to come up with something that will change the world and because the scientists need us. It’s not going to be a process free from challenges, it is important to overcome them, talk to people and seek advice, don’t give up!
I’d also like to add, working with children of primary school age is very important if we want to encourage future generations into engineering, it’s the perfect age where boys and girls approach engineering discussions open minded and with the ideal curiosity which stays with them for the years to come, and hopefully, influences their decision on a Univeristy degree course.