Being Edinburgh
Being Edinburgh, the award.

Anna: a rising star and role model

Anna Hart (Electronics and Electrical Engineering 2018) was nominated by a fellow graduate for her commitment to inspiring the next generation of engineers. She tells us about her passion for developing this as well about her career so far.

Anna Hart

After graduating in 2018, I worked in France for a ski season before starting work at aerospace engineering company Leonardo on the graduate scheme in September 2019 as a Graduate Electronics Engineer. I was lucky to be exposed to many different projects in those two years and got to experience various stages of a product’s lifecycle. This ranged from the redesign of a current radar product that is used on search and rescue helicopters, to analysing measurement data from our testing ranges on site. As part of the graduate scheme, there were so many training activities and modules I had the opportunity to take part in. These allowed me to gain an insight into different areas of the business and improved my ability to work collaboratively as part of a team. 

I was also heavily involved in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) side of Leonardo. I was a keen STEM ambassador during my time at university and took part in different initiatives to promote engineering to the younger generation and support undergraduate students. I have continued this passion at Leonardo and during my time on the graduate scheme I helped developed many STEM activities to share with local schools, such as a space-themed programme, and I am currently the STEM lead for the Edinburgh site.


During my time at university, I never had a clear plan of what I wanted to do after I graduated. I enjoyed the academic aspect of university and always saw myself pursuing a PhD. It was only after completing my fourth year lab courses that I realised I wanted to get stuck into working in industry. It was the support and encouragement from the lab demonstrators and the careers service that gave me the confidence to know I could succeed as an engineer.   

It was definitely a surprise! I am so passionate about promoting STEM to young people and showing just how exciting and rewarding a career in engineering can be. I believe that anyone can be an engineer. Regardless of gender there are so many skills and knowledge that each person can bring to an engineering team to create innovative solutions. By having a more diverse workforce this will only help to increase the range of experiences that can be brought together to develop future engineering products. If just one young boy or girl decides to become an engineer after taking part in an activity I helped develop or just through talking to me, then that is all I could hope for. 

I think it’s great that this award exists to help raise awareness of all the hard work being done by the University of Edinburgh alumni community, and to even be part of that is a true honour. I was so amazed by all of the finalists and especially the 2021 winner, Elisabeth Feldstein. The work she has done is inspirational and I couldn’t think of someone more deserving of the award. 

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