A Day in The Life of an Engineer, Dr. Fatemeh Hoveizavi

Date: 23.06.2021

Today, Wednesday 23rd June, marks International and Women in Engineering Day. The theme of the day this year is Engineering Heroes, focusing on the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, those who recognise a problem and then dare to be part of the solution. 

This International Women in Engineering Day, we’d like to say thanks to our very own female Engineering Heroes at the Catapult who play an important and influential role in the innovative work we do every day.  

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a female engineer at the Catapult? In celebration of this important day, we spoke with Dr. Fatemeh Hoveizavi, Senior RF and Microwave Engineer to learn more about her role, recent promotion and who her engineering heroes are. Read more below. 

Congratulations on your recent promotion, Fatemeh! We’d love to learn more about your role at the Catapult, could you tell us more?

Hi, thank you! I’m a Senior RF & Microwave Engineer at CSA Catapult. I joined the Catapult back in 2018 and have recently been promoted to a Senior Engineer.  

I came to the Catapult with an academic background having studied for my PhD for 5 years then moving on to teach at a university. During my studies, I worked on projects for industry applications within the lower level of the TRL (technology readiness level) 1-5. Whereas now working at the Catapult, I’m involved in projects at TRL 5-7. 

The reason why I love working at the Catapult is because no day is the same and there’s lots of variation to the work we do and projects we’re involved in. I work between a variety of projects including commercial and research, prototype to industry as well as new project proposals.  

What does a typical day look like for you at the Catapult?

As a team, we’re still splitting our time between the Innovation Centre and home, so this means that my week is varied which is exactly how I like it. Some of my daily tasks include working with our bid manager on new project proposals, discussing upcoming projects with industry and academic connections and working with the RF & Photonics teams on novel and innovative ideas.  

When I’m at the Innovation Centre and in the lab, I allocate my time between three main projects. Some of these projects are purely commercial or solely R&D. As a Senior Engineer, I’m involved at the very beginning of a project, during the bid proposal stage, right through to the end when our team has brought an innovative idea to life. 

As a woman working in engineering, what advice would you give to women working in the engineering sector? 

My advice is to be prepared to work hard! Being involved in creating and developing next-generation technology is amazing. It’s a rewarding career if you’re committed to putting in the hard work. But all of the hard work is worth it in the end when you see an idea developed and brought to life.   

What is one thing you love about being an engineer?

I really enjoy stepping back and watching the finished product at the end of the project. For example, a novel idea stems from an idea we have brainstormed or paper we have read, we then decide how we can implement this into an end-application.  

It’s an amazing feeling seeing your idea working within a product or device. 

The theme for this year's International Women in Engineering Day is #EngineeringHeroes. Can you tell us more about yours? 

My engineering heroes are all my fellow female engineers flying the flag for women in this industry! As well as female engineers being my #EngineeringHeroes, my mother is also one of my heroes who inspired me to embark on this career. When I was 8 years old, she bought me a book called ‘The Biography of Mercury.’ Looking back, I recognise how passionate she was about research and experiments, and this is one of the reasons I was inspired to become an engineer. 

For more information on our latest careers at CSA Catapult click here