Holley Reece-Barkell

I am a Delivery Manager at Frazer-Nash Consultancy.

I work in Engineering Consultancy, where we solve real life problems which make a difference to the world. From designing wheelchairs to helping reduce climate change, Frazer-Nash does it.

I took A levels in Maths, Physics and Electronics and I have an MEng in Mechanical Engineering. My proudest moment so far is becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), which was important to me because it demonstrates my significant contribution and commitment to Engineering.

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  • What does a typical day at work look like for you?

    The nature of consultancy is that no day is the same. We are involved in all steps of the project lifecycle, so one day I could be helping my team with a proposal or bid to win new work, and another I could be approving the technical reports for work we have already won. My role is client facing, so you may find me working on site with a customer. I am also responsible for setting the direction and strategy for my team over 5 years, so I could be planning what new skills and services we need to develop to meet market demand. I work with a high level of autonomy, so am able to focus my time of the tasks which matter.

  • What advice would you give to your 15 year old self

    When it comes to Engineering, don’t just believe the stereotypes. When I used to say I had a Mechanical Engineering degree, the response I got numerous times was ‘great! Can you fix my washing machine?!’ Sure, some engineers do go to work in a boiler suit, but it’s a diverse industry offering so much more than just nuts and bolts.

  • Who or what inspired you to get into engineering?

    It was more a case that Engineering found me rather than I chose Engineering. And I think that is OK. There is so much pressure on young people today to make career choices so early on in life, when people have not gained enough experiences to make such life changing decisions. When I picked my A level subjects I simply selected things I enjoyed. And when I chose to study for an Engineering degree, I knew the qualification would be attractive to lots of potential employers and not just in the Engineering field, because the skills I would learn would be so transferable.

  • What are your favourite hobbies, or interests?

    I have always loved horse riding and when I was in my 30’s I took the plunge and made a childhood dream come true by buying my own horse. Its a time consuming hobby but I love it.

  • What are the best and worst things about the job?

    I love seeing my team develop and achieve their own career goals; Its down to their own hard work, but its cool to think I played a part in that or helped to enable their success.
    Sometimes its hard to fit everything in and I have had to learn to be strict with my time.

  • Where do you see your industry in 25-50 years' time?

    I mostly work in the energy sector. In 25 years time, we should be nearing our goal for the UK to achieve Net Zero by 2050. For this to be the case, I would expect to see new nuclear technologies in action, such as small modular reactors, and an increase in renewable technologies such as offshore wind providing energy to the grid. There are exciting times ahead as we look to take these technologies from concept through to operation.