Portree High School, University of Strathclyde, Heriot Watt University
BSc Mathematics, Msc Water Management
I'm a hydraulic modeller working on designing sewers and drainage systems.
I live in Bristol, but I am originally from the Isle Of Skye in Scotland.
I live with my boyfriend in our flat full of plants and our two rabbits, Little Richard and Tupac, they are either chasing after one another or Tupac is stealing Little Richards food!
I spend my free time climbing (indoor and outdoor), going to Taekwondo training, finding yummy Chinese and Korean food in the city and trying out another new hobby, handstand practice and bell ringing have been on the list.
And yes, I can actually quote every episode of The Simpsons.
I construct and investigate hydraulic models of sewer systems. Ever thought about what happens to the dirty water flushed from toilets, down from the kitchen, bathroom and utility rooms? Well I deal with that! I use computer and mapping software to investigate flood risk and flood mechanisms, ensuring that the sewer systems are fit for purpose and suitable for future growth.
Short answer: I use computers to design sewers so that the pee, poo and dirty water from buildings go to the correct place to get treated so that no nasty stuff can block or burst pipes causing flooding, or come back up the toilets and drains in the street making a mess and polluting the environment.
Long Answer: I construct and investigate hydraulic models of sewer systems. I use computer and mapping software to understand the sewer performance and investigate flood risk and flood mechanisms.
These can be sewer systems in small villages and towns, to systems in large cities which grow in population every year. There is a lot of problem solving involved in hydraulic modelling, to ensure that the sewer systems are fit for purpose and suitable for future growth in population demand.
I plan surveys necessary to help clarify the understanding of the current sewer performance, as well as watch CCTV videos of cameras that go into the sewers to see its condition.
When the surveys are happening, I get the opportunity to go out on site with the site crew which is always really interesting!
This includes looking down manholes to gain measurements, installing a variety of monitors to understand the performance of characteristics of pipelines during different rainfall events, surveying the performance of pumping stations and wastewater treatment works.
The results from the surveys help build and develop the hydraulic model more to what to what is realistically happening in real life. I use all the information to test and suggest designs of improvements and enhancements to current or potential problems by running simulations of “what if” scenarios with the model.
My Typical Day
I work in an office and build and investigate computer models of sewer systems. I test out solutions in the model to make the sewer performance better and stop flooding from occurring.
What I'd do with the money
Inspire and provide further opportunities to learn about engineering and create a board game and puzzles to take to schools and events to learn about sewer systems and protecting the environment.
I would like to provide further opportunities to those children and young adults from less privileged backgrounds to learn and engage about engineering.
I would like to create a board game to take to schools and events. This would be an interactive and cooperative approach to learn about the sewer systems that exist, and what the consequences to human life and the environment are when we certain scenarios happen, such as fatbergs, flushing wet wipes, flooding, etc.
I would like to collaborate with WaterAid UK, as I volunteer with them, to see what opportunities there are or could be in to delivering specific types of educational workshops and events to schools across the country to highlight the importance of clean water and safe sanitation.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Positive, Friendly, Motivated
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Being involved in projects that have helped maintain sewer systems and alleviate flooding issues.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Katherine Johnson who is an amazing mathematician who worked for NASA
What was your favourite subject at school?
Maths, Modern Studies, Spanish (3 favourites!)
What did you want to be after you left school?
I knew I wanted to do something involved with maths or computers. which is my job now
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Nope. I was far too good!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Teacher or something with coding
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Dim Sum, in particular fried turnip cake.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Gone swimming in an active mud volcano, El Tomuto, in Colombia (
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. That my pet rabbits could talk 2. That I could swim better so I could surf better 3. That everyone in the world would have access to clean water and safe sanitation.
Tell us a joke.
What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror? HALLOUMI