Karen Perry - Assistant Quality Engineer at National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

Issued: Wed, 17 Jun 2020 00:00:00 BST

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I like to travel and one of my favorite places I've visited so far is the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. 

Tell us about your careers journey so far

I graduated last year with a Masters in Sports Engineering from the University of Strathclyde. While studying, I was able to complete 3 months as an Engineering Intern with Luma Therapeutics, helping to design a medical device. The following summer, I worked as a Quality Intern within the Advanced Forming Research Centre. This internship was extended as I continued my studies and led to my current full time position. 

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

In school my favourite subjects were Maths and Human Biology. I enjoyed Maths as I like solving problems and Human Biology as I enjoyed learning about how our bodies function. 

What subjects/qualifications are useful for your role?

I've found that my role uses lots of different aspects of subjects I studied in school including Maths, English, Graphic Design, Biology & Chemistry. I completed a Masters in Sports Engineering in university, from which I gained lots of knowledge and skills that I can apply to my role. 

What is a normal day in your role like?

Day to day, things change within my role so its difficult to describe a typical day however some activities that I often complete are running sessions to help find solutions to problems we're facing, auditing different areas within the centre to highlight where we can improve and working with others to update processes to ensure we are working as efficiently as possible. 

What's your favourite thing about your job?

I enjoy seeing the results of improvements that I've helped to implement. Quite often we come up with ideas for improvements as a result of exploring issues we're facing. It's nice to turn a negative into a positive. 


Can you suggest an activity that can be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?

I think this activity (linked blow), "Take-Off," where you are tasked with designing a launch system for an aircraft carrier covers a number of aspects relevant to my job and many other engineering roles too. Before beginning, it may be good to have a think about setting some measurable goals for your aircraft carrier performance e.g. how far it launches the plane etc. That way you can go back to these once your finished and see if you've been successful in meeting your goals. If not, you can create another iteration and try again.

Link to activity information sheet :


If you're a STEM Ambassador in Scotland and want to share your story you can download the form here.