Award winning engineer at Luton Leonardo helps helicopter rescue crews

Kim Norris. The UK only has nine per cent of female engineers in its workforce, so Kim is a passionate STEM ambassador.
Kim Norris. The UK only has nine per cent of female engineers in its workforce, so Kim is a passionate STEM ambassador.

A talented employee at a Luton aerospace company has been named as one of the ‘Top 50 women in engineering under 35’.

Kim Norris, 25, of Cranfield who works at Leonardo’s Luton site, was given the highly sought after title at a ceremony in London on Friday, the awards run by the Women in Engineering Society (WES) and the Telegraph newspaper.

Kim, a systems engineer, joined Leonardo in 2013, and works with technology that enhances search and rescue platforms, predominantly focusing on helicopters.

Kim, a Royal Navy reservist said: “I’m still in shock - there’s so many women doing good engineering work out there!

“I work with a huge different range of people, and my work is a mixture of giving hands on demonstrations to customers, design work, problem solving, and fitting equipment to aircraft.

“I would like to thank my boss, Ian Mcquat for nominating me.”

Kim grew up near Cambridge and joined the air cadets when she was 13 years old, gaining work experience at RAF Marham where she shadowed airmen completing maintenance on a Tornado aircraft. She then studied Aerospace Technology at Coventry University.

Kim said: “There’s so much more to engineering than maths and you don’t always need an engineering degree to get into the field.

“We need problem solvers and blue sky thinkers who can work between teams.

“Air cadets also offer so many opportunities, from flying and gliding to the Aviation Studies BTEC; that includes air frame design, jet engine propulsion and map reading, - equivalent to four GCSEs.”

As well her work to help save lives, Kim will be partaking in International Women in Engineering Days at Leonardo for local school girls.