As part of Ricardo’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of engineers every year we select a Most Promising Female Engineer from among UK engineering students. The prize is £1000 and a summer or year in industry work placement with Ricardo. We are delighted to announce that the 2020 winner of the Most Promising Female Engineer award is Jazz Turner, who is studying for an MEng in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sussex. Here, we meet Jazz and find out what inspired her to become an engineer, her future career plans, and the inspiring advice she gives to others.
What inspired you to become an engineer?
Jazz Turner: “As a young child I always liked taking things apart and attempting, usually unsuccessfully, to put them back together. I first started taking apart old radios and tractors that no longer worked on the farm I lived on at the time. Around the age of 13 I started sailing and became not only obsessed with the sport but all the engineering that surrounded the sport. I began repairing old wooden boats. I went on to race one at the European and the World Championships. I then decided, as I wanted to understand how a boat fully went together, to build my own boat. With a set of paper plans I went on to build a wood and epoxy single-handed racing dinghy. At the time I also really enjoyed helping to maintain the sailing club RIB engines over the winter. This developed my interest in engines and mechanical engineering, which lead to my internship at Ricardo.”
Tell us more about how you are applying your engineering skills to your sport?
Jazz Turner: “My engineering skills got applied to boat design in the repairing and building of wooden sailing dinghies. One of the main areas where I apply my engineering knowledge is the foils, which are used on the rudder and daggerboard. I have enjoyed looking at different aerofoil sections and seeing if I can use different sections to improve boat speed. In the dinghy I built I used custom foil sections to help the water flow profiles that went over them as the boat sailed in order to create lift. In the future I would be interested in continuing to apply my engineering knowledge to my sport.”
What engineering would you like to pursue in the future?
Jazz Turner: “My passion in engineering is eventually to be able to work in the medical sector. I would like to take my engineering knowledge and apply to the medical industry. Being a wheelchair user, I see lots of equipment that is either poorly designed or doesn’t exist. I want to work in bridging the gap in the medical industry between the people and the equipment. No medical condition is the same and often the same condition can present differently in each person. Equipment that works for one often doesn’t work for another. I would like to help design custom equipment for people with disabilities for whom the standard equipment doesn’t work.”
What advice would you give to the next Jasmin Sayed, and what is the best advice you have received?
Jazz Turner: “The one thing I would say to the next me, would be to never give up on whatever you want, no matter what anyone tells you, and that you don’t have to fit into any stereotype no matter what the world around you may tell you.”
“The best advice I’ve ever been given is that if you always follow behind the person in front of you, you will never win or see what’s ahead of them. Sometimes you have to take a different route because you never know what will happen. You might still come behind someone else but you have the chance of ending up ahead of them.”
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