Development & Alumni Relations Office 

MEET GRADUATE LISA MILNE – PROCESS ENGINEER AT KIMBERLY-CLARKLisa Milne inset, with Kimberly-Clark product range

28 June 2020

Extract from ‘Kimberly-Clark celebrates their female engineers and a commitment to equality’ - first published in The Mail (23.06.20)

While the engineering profession is still dominated by men, with women making up just 12.3 per cent of the industry in the UK, a multi-national company with a site in Cumbria is heading up the fight to change that.

Global health and hygiene corporation Kimberly-Clark, which specialises in paper-based consumer products, is a leading light for equality in the sector with a growing number of women employed at its site at Barrow which manufactures Andrex and Kleenex products.

Process engineer Lisa Milne has been at the company for several years and hopes to see more women choose engineering as a career.

Mother-of-two Lisa, 34, is originally from Northern Ireland but has been based in Cumbria since studying at Queen’s University in Belfast after doing a year in industry at GlaxoSmithKline in Ulverston. The MEng in Chemical Engineering (2009) graduate is a former pupil of the Sacred Heart School in Newry, County Down.

She has eight years’ of experience in tissue manufacturing, pharmaceutical, nuclear and gas industries and initially considered being an engineer after having a passion for maths and science at school.

Speaking to The Mail, Lisa said: “It was a bit different going to an all-girls school, engineering wasn’t talked about and I was around 15 when the idea first came into my head through the career support you get at school and a professor from Queen’s came to speak to us.

“I got a bursary and spent a few days in the PhD labs when I was 16 and thought that I wanted to do something a bit different and did some work experience and make sure it was the right move, and that was vital.

“My sandwich year at University was my first time working in the industry, I really enjoyed it and met my husband so after I graduated I applied for a graduate scheme at Sellafield which was mostly engineers, varied people and a lot of women as well.

“I feel that I’ve done a lot in the years since leaving University.”

Lisa moved to her current job in the autumn of 2018, having been a Process Engineer at Conoco Phillips for 4 years in Barrow-In-Furness, where she provided engineering support to East Irish Sea River’s Terminal – a complex gas processing plant. Before that she worked at Sellafield Ltd where she spent 3 years as a System Engineer.

“I got the job at Kimberly-Clark when I was pregnant with my second son, worked for six months and then went on maternity leave,” said Lisa.

“I provide technical support – doing fault finding, looking for improvements and implementing them; it is a varied job.

“A typical day would mean being involved in the morning meetings, and see if any issues have come up. Every day can be completely different – how to find improvements and run the machine more efficiently and safely, or sometimes working with external vendors to design something to go onto the machine.

“It feels like I have done a lot in different industries but it has flown by, I love being an engineer and always have done.

“Talking about women in engineering, I haven’t found any issues at all. Some of the situations you have to deal with when having children is the main thing.”

For general enquiries about this story, or to submit a graduate news item, please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen’s University Belfast.

Photo/image credit: Kimberly-Clark; Lisa Milne (LinkedIn)

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