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Engineering alumna returns to Brunel as visiting professor and mentor

Alexandra Knight

Brunel has a brilliant diversity of students from a wide range of backgrounds so you can mix with people that have a completely different perspective on life

Alexandra, Alumni

Technical Director, Amey Strategic Consulting

Mechanical Engineering BEng - 2003

From UK

Previous Institution

Gravesend Grammar School for Girls - A levels

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

I did an MSc at Imperial College London and then joined a small start-up medical engineering company run out of the Runneymede Science Park for a couple of years. I then joined Frazer-Nash Consultancy to get a variety of engineering sector experience and ended up staying there for 11 years. Two years ago I moved to Amey where I work in a diverse team made up of data scientists, engineers and developers working on data-led optimisation of critical national infrastructure projects. Over the years I became Chartered and am now a Fellow with the IMechE - I'm also a Visiting Professor back at Brunel through the Royal Academy of Engineering.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

I'm an Engineering Consultant - so delivering project work for clients, writing proposals, interviewing to grow the team, thinking about where we want to take our service offerings - these are typical things.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

I got a fantastic opportunity to work with injured soldiers at Headley Court to develop a prototype novel rehabilitation bike - we called it the ExFix bike. It was a privilege to work with this establishment and the soldiers as users as part of the design process.

How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?

Brunel was a fantastic foundation for me. I struggled with my A levels and Brunel gave me a chance to study engineering despite not quite getting the grades I needed. I worked hard and focussed on what I wanted to achieve and came out with a 1st Class Hons BEng. This helped me realise I can achieve anything I set my mind to if I am dedicated and resourceful. I've taken this approach with me in my career and am happy I can now pay it back to the current Brunel students through my Visiting Professor role and as a mentor.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

Brunel has a brilliant diversity of students from a wide range of backgrounds so you can mix with people that have a completely different perspective on life which helps you reflect, grow and develop as an individual.

What is your best memory of studying here?

Studying in the library with my friends and colleagues in the lead up to exams; it was a stressful time but we were helping each other improve and having fun at the same time!

If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?

Take advantage of all the opportunities available to you. Brunel has amazing resources for supporting students through their degree and onto their first step on the career ladder. This is so valuable - don't miss out!

What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?

Say yes to things that scare you! You'll surprise yourself with what you can achieve.

#IamBrunel