The STEM Hub Canterbury Christ Church University STEM Learning
The STEM Hub

Ian Donald

Principal Signalling Engineer – Arcadis Design & Consultancy

How did you first become interested in STEM as a career?
As a professional Railway Signal Engineer, myself I was keen to promote engineering to young people mainly by supporting school events and career fairs. Engineering, and particularly Railway Engineering, is not necessarily seen as an attractive proposition and popular career choice for young children. This is something I would like to help change and improve for the engineering professions.

What pathway did you follow to get to where you are?
I studied at University of Kent at Canterbury a BSc (Hons) Electronic Engineering. I joined British Rail as a graduate engineer in 1991, and with the move to privatisation I have remained within the rail sector but working under different employers. I undoubtedly think I made the right choice as I find being involved in a wide range of projects, solving problems during all stages of the design and construction life cycle process and then actually being responsible for seeing the projects through to completion and being built is extremely rewarding.

What inspires and enthuses you about your work and STEM?
Being a STEM ambassador is great and very rewarding, it gives you the opportunity to share work experiences and knowledge and making it interesting and encourage children to consider a career in engineering. From a personal perspective it is also very rewarding to know that I can contribute, help, and offer advice and support to school children of different ages, and to open their eyes and view a career in railway engineering in a different light.

"From a personal perspective it is very rewarding to know that I can contribute, help, and offer advice and support to school children of different ages, and to open their eyes and view a career in railway engineering in a different light."