'Chemistry is like Magic' Episode One - Introducing Joyce Belny-Mellinger

In this episode, Ngunan chats to Joyce Belny-Mellinger, Chemical Engineer and Managing Director of retail fashion business, 'Haus of Juicy'. In this episode, Joyce explains that studying chemistry at school, combined with a love of the arts, inspired her to pursue a career in chemical engineering and textile technology.

'I don’t think there is a greater legacy you can leave' Episode Two - Introducing Sophie Harker

In this episode, Ngunan chats to Sophie Harker, Senior Aerospace Engineer BAE Systems. In this episode Sophie explains how meeting Dr Helen Sharman (first British Astronaut in space) when she was 19 years old, combined with her love of space inspired her to go on to study mathematics and pursue a career in engineering.

‘Girls do have choices’ Episode Three – Introducing Dr Ozak Esu

In this episode, Ngunan chats to Dr Ozak Esu, Smart Assets Lead at BRE. In this episode Ozak explains how her love of watching television as a child combined with an annoyance at power cuts in her home country of Nigeria inspired her to become a chartered electronic and electrical engineer in the construction sector.

‘I am a global citizen. I am part of a movement of young people wanting to bring change to our world.’ Episode Four – Introducing Dr Yewande Akinola MBE

In this episode, Ngunan chats to Dr Yewande Akinola - a chartered engineer, innovator, dreamer and public speaker with a passion for highlighting the roles innovation, creativity and engineering play in our world today. Yewande shares how her mother’s passion for engineering and creativity influenced her to go into a career in engineering. Throughout the episode, Yewande also stresses the need to recognise the importance and power of representation within the sector and offers advice for key influencers to support young people to express their creativity through engineering.

‘Embrace unexpected outcomes because they are as important as your successful outcomes’ Episode Five – Introducing Ying Wan Loh

In this episode, Ngunan chats to Ying Wan Loh, 2019 IET Young Women Engineer Award winner. Ying is a chartered engineer, junior specialist in operations and passionate STEM ambassador. In this episode, Ying shares her experiences of moving to Scotland from Malaysia at the age of 19 to pursue a career in engineering. Throughout the episode, Ying highlights her passion for engineering and the impact that this can have on people’s lives. Ying also addresses the importance of normalising failure and embracing the unexpected outcomes that arise through engineering.

‘What makes me an artist, makes me into a better engineer and what makes me into an engineer, makes me into a better artist’ - Introducing Shrouk El-Attar

In this episode, Ngunan chats to Shrouk El-Attar, electronic engineer by day, belly dancer by night. Shrouk identifies as queer, part of the LGBTQ+ community and a refugee (asylum seeker). In this episode Shrouk gives an insight into coming to the UK as a child asylum seeker and her journey through the education and university system. Throughout this episode Shrouk talks about their engineering achievements which include being in the top six young female engineers in the country (IET award 2020), how they developed a machine that detects cancer, their work on electron quantum spin and making robots for a living.

* Please note, this podcast contains content that some listeners may find upsetting. Discretion is advised, recommended listener age 18+.

'It’s a beautiful field and so complex, and I really encourage the younger generation to study engineering – it’s wonderful!' - Introducing Cristina Steliana Mihailovici

In this episode, Ngunan chats Cristina Steliana Mihailovici, Doctor in Nautical Science and Engineering, Writer, Environmentalist, Economist, Project Manager, Lecturer, Analyst and Mum! Cristina provides us with an insight into her engineering journey so far, and talks about the importance of the UN sustainable development goals and combining engineering with humanity and kindness to reduce inequalities. When Cristina isn’t working to make global shipping more sustainable, she writes inspirational children’s books – opening up the idea of working in engineering to every child and encouraging them to explore, discover, and believe!

“Once I overcome a problem, I am very committed to making sure that the next generation and people coming behind me don’t have to go through the same problems.” - Introducing Dr Ibilola Amao

In this episode, Ngunan chats to Dr Ibilola Amao; Principal Consultant at Lonadek Global Services, multiple award-winner, and natural problem-solver. Throughout the episode, Ibilola shares their passion for developing, empowering and mentoring STEM talent in Nigeria and beyond – especially women. Ibilola talks about how their experience studying and working in the United Kingdom partially influenced this passion. In this episode, Ibilola also discusses the importance of ensuring the next generation of engineers are not just technically empowered, but morally and spiritually empowered too.

“When they look at me and go, ‘you’re an engineer?’, I’m like, ‘yeah, but not like how you think.” - Introducing Laura Hoang

In this episode, Ngunan chats to Laura Hoang; an Aerospace Design Engineer currently working in Programme Integration at BAE Systems. Laura works on military jets and shares how she is sometimes used as a “test subject” in the cockpit too! In this episode, Laura also talks about society’s limited perception of who engineers are and what they do, emphasising that not all engineers are found wearing overalls and a hardhat – “I wear high heels and have acrylic nails, and I don’t particularly want to get those dirty.” Laura also shares why becoming a Chartered Engineer was one of her proudest achievements, and tells us about her latest hobby; roller derby!

“They need people like me at the table” – Introducing Gina Baker

In episode 10, Ngunan chats with Gina Baker, who works in supply chain analysis at packaging and recycling firm, DS Smith. Gina is an inspirational young engineer – in this episode, she discusses how she was the first black woman to complete the MEng Chemical and Nuclear Engineering course at the University of Leeds. Gina also talks about why she thinks a more targeted approach to getting more women of colour into engineering is needed, and shares her dream of becoming a UN Ambassador and Chartered Engineer. Not just an engineer, Gina also tells us about her music career as Ginius – producer, singer and songwriter!

“I think for anyone who’s thinking of going into engineering, it will bring out the problem-solving side of you, which is amazing” - Introducing Halimatu Abubakar

In this episode, Ngunan chats with Halimatu Abubakar. Halimatu is a Support Engineer at Collins Aerospace, having recently completed their Future Leadership Graduate programme. She is also a member of WISE Campaign’s Young Professionals Board. Halimatu tells us about how engineers don’t perceive “failures,” but engage in “a process of re-learning" instead. She shares how trying to improve products once they’re in use is in fact, a really fun part of her job! Throughout the episode, Halimatu also discusses the importance of being supported in your career choices and shares the value she’s found in working for an employer that supports her professional development. As a massive Doctor Who fan, Halimatu also reveals how she would love to work with NASA in space exploration!

‘I wanted to inspire more young girls and the next generation into engineering, and that was all because I became a mum and realised I want to make a difference’ – Introducing Krystina Pearson-Rampeearee

In this episode, Ngunan chats to Krystina Pearson-Rampeearee, a Senior Flight Systems Engineer at BAE Systems. Krystina develops equipment for aircrafts, playing a role in initial designing, right through to the equipments’ disposal. Throughout the episode, Krystina shares how becoming a mum has influenced her engineering career, from becoming a STEM Ambassador, to winning awards. Krystina also talks about the ways businesses, schools and society have a role to play in helping achieve greater diversity in engineering and other STEM industries. Also in this episode, Krystina and Ngunan discuss why young people shouldn’t let their grades hinder their career goals, and Krystina tells us about her diversity-in-STEM inspired Etsy shop, AviateHer!

‘There’s an engineering for you, you just need to find the right one. So don’t let anybody tell you can’t, because you can.’ – Introducing Dr Nike Folayan MBE.

In this final episode of the series, Ngunan chats to Dr Nike Folayan MBE. Nike is a Chartered Engineer with a PhD in Electronics Engineering, and the Co-Founder of the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK). In this episode, Nike shares how she became an engineer because she loved television as a child, and discusses the importance of allowing young people to explore various aspects of engineering. Nike also tells us about what influenced her and her brother, Dr Ollie Folayan, to establish AFBE-UK – such as negative stereotypes surrounding black communities – and the work that their organisation does to support the development of more diverse engineers and young people exploring the industry.


We have spoken to some incredible women, keep checking back here for our weekly episodes. Episode one will be launched on February 16th.

This podcast series features the following:

Episode 1: Joyce Belny-Mellinger

Episode 2: Sophie Harker

Episode 3: Dr Ozak Esu

Episode 4: Yewande Akinola

Episode 5: Ying Wan Loh

Episode 6: Shrouk El Attar

Episode 7: Cristina Steliana Mihailovici

Episode 8: Dr Ibilola Amao

Episode 9: Laura Hoang

Episode 10: Gina Baker

Episode 11: Halimatu Abubaker

Episode 12: Krystina Pearson Rampeearee

Episode 13: Nike Folayan

Professional headshot of Ngunan Adamu wearing a yellow top. Ngunan is looking upwards and has he hand to her chin posing as if she is thinking. Ngunan also wears large hooped earrings and red lipstick.

About our host

Meet Ngunan Adamu, CEO and Founder of iWoman, and BBC Mersyside Radio Presenter. Ngunan began working with The Common Room last year, consulting on diversifying voices. She is using her wealth of experience in media and journalism to interview female engineers for this podcast series. The work Ngunan and The Common Room are carrying out involves exploring the diversity of modern-day voices and the role-models we celebrate. Together, we aim to inspire young people from all backgrounds to pursue careers in engineering -focussing in on stories of innovation.

About iWoman

iWoman is a global peer to peer organisation built by women for women, enabling them to reach their full potential through designed and orchestrated means and shared goals; to support, uplift and push women to be their true authentic self wherever they are in the world, through shared resources and knowledge.