In her own words

08 March 2023

Celebrating International Women's Day at the NCC

#IWD2023 #EmbraceEquity

At the National Composites Centre, we work together to build the diverse and inclusive working environment that we all aspire to. This International Women’s Day, we check in with some incredible women at the NCC who share candid insights - in their own words - into their respective roles; what drives them to login every morning; and advice they would share with their 16-year-old selves.

Joanna Dally, Strategic Partnerships Director

"I’ve been fortunate to work with inspirational colleagues throughout my career. Their generosity in providing time, support and honest feedback has enabled me to thrive. I strive to do the same."


Camilla Osmiani, Advanced Research Engineer in Concept Engineering

"I didn't plan on becoming an engineer. I wanted to progress in a scientific field but was scared by Pure Maths & Physics. It is thanks to my professors and uni colleagues that I never looked back. Now, I have the tools to understand how things we take for granted come to life... and I contribute to making them better."


Jess Harrison, Associate Research Engineer

"I’m constantly learning, be it about a new material, process, application or engineering roles. The NCC seems to attract genuinely good people, who are always happy to help and support career mentoring. Just ask."


Micaëla Owen, Head of Workforce Transformation

"I was working with women returning to the workplace and my role was to teach them baseline employability skills. I really enjoyed helping people to develop and in doing so, to broaden their career opportunities. That's how I found myself on this trajectory."


Marisa Zeolla, Associate Technology Project Lead

"There was a career change away from fashion, after becoming a mum. Advice I'd tell my 16-year-old self: 'Life doesn’t always follow a prescriptive linear path and that’s ok! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll find your way.'"


Emma Burns, Research Engineer

"As a teenager I was part of the Air Cadets and have since become a glider pilot and instructor. Understanding how it all worked led me to engineering. The underpinning challenge is how we continue to design and implement new technologies to solve problems in a sustainable way."


Amy Wevill, Associate Project Manager

"Working on multiple diverse projects can be a challenge, but it is a great opportunity to quickly gain fundamental knowledge on a broad range of engineering sectors and disciplines. It also means that no two days are the same at the NCC!"


Kirsten McGeoch, IT Operations Manager

"I would tell my 16-year-old self not to be afraid to take up space in the world."



Maria Nilsson, Finance Business Partner

"Advice to my younger self: Self-worth is more important than self-confidence for long term happiness. Always know you are doing your best, regardless of what anyone else tells you."


Ruth Courtney, Engineering Capability Lead 

"I would advise my 16-year-old self to learn by making mistakes - no one expects you to know everything when you start out. Go for any opportunity that interests you and figure it out on the way."


Susie Morton, Research Engineer in High Volume Manufacturing

"Playing hockey from a young age, I grew up watching the progression from wooden hockey sticks, through glass fibre reinforced layers all the way to fully carbon fibre hockey sticks. Seeing the performance improvement in hockey, and other sports, piqued my interest and spurred me in the direction of composites manufacturing."


Hannah Swinbourne, Research Engineer

"It was my love of space and Formula 1 that pulled me into this field. When I was younger, my teacher introduced me to engineering as a way to use my love of physics and problem solving. In fact, I first used composites in my Formula Student team and really enjoyed learning how to design and manufacture with them."


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