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Eleanor And Georgina Billson

Family ambition: creating female role models in STEM

Published on: Monday 11th June 2018
Categorised under: Work , Engineering, Sellafield Ltd

Eleanor Billson and her daughter, Georgina, are both engineers at Sellafield

They may have started their careers over 30 years apart, but Eleanor and Georgina Billson can find a lot to agree on when it comes to being a female in industry.

The mother and daughter both work as engineers at Sellafield; Eleanor, 53, as a senior project manager and Georgina, 26, as a system engineer.

While Eleanor is part of the site’s project delivery team, looking at how it can carry out work in a more collaborative and long-term way with its supply chain, Georgina works in its Highly Active Liquor Evaporation and Storage (HALES) plant team.

Despite the family links, Georgina laughs when asked whether it was her mother who inspired her to pursue a career in engineering.

“Honestly, not really! If you asked me at 15 whether I wanted to be an engineer like mum then I would have said no,” she says.

Her interest in engineering was piqued by the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) programme carried out by Sellafield at St Benedict’s School, which she attended in Whitehaven.

“It was actually the engineering education scheme I got involved in at 16,” she says.

“It was a mechanical engineering programme that I really enjoyed and from there I started looking into different types of engineering and ended up doing a chemical process engineering degree at Newcastle University.

“It was Sellafield that initially got me interested through their STEM programmes and then I was about 18 I went back to mum for advice. When I was looking at what to do at university and what courses might be useful for a career she was really helpful.”

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