Victoria Sharpe CEng FIMechE, FWES

Victoria Sharpe

Victoria discovered engineering as a potential career when she attended a WISE course at Imperial College during her A- levels and realised that maths and physics can make the world a better place. On graduation from her mechanical engineering degree at the University of Bristol, Victoria obtained a place on the Rover/BMW graduate programme which included several assignments based in Munich.

When Rover/BMW split up, Victoria joined a medical device start up - Lombard Medical, having enjoyed time spent as an undergraduate working for Johnson & Johnson, and proudly became employee number 5! While at Lombard Medical, Victoria received her IMechE Chartership and was involved in all aspects of engineering development – from design and product testing to setting up quality controlled manufacturing processes – that led to the company’s first CE Marked life-saving Aortic Stent graft. During this prodcut development, Victoria implemented the company’s patented computer controlled circular sewing (embroidery) machine into manufacture. Following the stent graft’s successful launch, she followed the company to the USA supporting the company’s clinical trials and FDA submissions.

Now with husband Tom, and two children James and Ella, Victoria took a short career break and returned to the UK. Once brilliant childcare had been found, she joined Renishaw as a senior project manager on their neurological drug delivery system and their machine tool probes. It was this transition from medical devices back to electro-mechanical that highlighted her transferable skills and she was offered a position as engineering manager in MAATS Tech, a small engineering company designing and building off shore pipe and cable lay equipment. Although now dealing in tonnes rather than mm/Hg, the principles remained the same and, due to the nature of the business, Victoria developed business skills relating to engineering contract costs and negotiations. During this time, Victoria received her Fellowship from the IMechE, having led the engineering team to successfully deliver the cable lay deck spread equipment for the world’s largest cable lay ship (by mass of cable cargo) at the time – curiously named, the NKT Victoria.

A few years later, a yearning to return to medical devices, found Victoria working for Corin, a hip and knee replacement manufacturer as a Continuous Improvement Manager working at the sharp end, keeping manufacturing going and dealing with feedback from internal and external customers. A position that involved both detailed investigations and fast responses.

Having now worked in all aspects of the engineering design and development cycle, Victoria has just started a role as Managing Director of Exstent which has developed its own patented personalised external aortic root support graft and is looking forward to using all her skills and more, to rise to the challenge!

Victoria has been a member of WES since working at Rover/BMW, a cluster co-ordinator and STEM ambassador as well as mentor to graduates seeking to obtain IMechE chartership. Since it’s launch, Victoria has also set up company events supporting INWED to promote diversity within engineering.