To help celebrate International Women in Engineering Day 2021, we caught up with two of our engineering lecturers to find out more about them and why they love the engineering industry.

Kimberley Coates – Engineering Lecturer

What is your name and background?
Hello, my name is Kimberley Coates and I am one of the engineering lecturers here at Redcar and Cleveland College.

My background in engineering is that I left school at 16 and went to TTE to complete an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering, so I was a fitter/turner. I worked in a few engineering different companies in the local area, mainly as a maintenance fitter before being offered a teaching position. After teaching in a few different colleges in the local area, I then joined Redcar and Cleveland College last year.

What words of advice would you give someone thinking about a career in engineering?
My words of advice would be to definitely look into which part of engineering that you are most interested in because there is wide variety of options available and to pick the one that you find the most interesting. There will probably be lots of different areas that you haven’t heard of yet so it will give you a wide range of options to look at.

Which parts of engineering fascinates you?
I am fascinated by the new technologies within the engineering industry such as green energy and friction stir welding. My passion is looking at how things work and how to improve them – I think these are really key traits for a career in engineering.

What is your three top tips to give someone thinking about college?
• Make sure that you do your research so that you know what course that you are wanting to study and the career options available after that course.
• Manage your time effectively to offer you the right balance between home life and college work.
• Always put in 100% effort and you will achieve what you want to achieve.

What do you love about Redcar and Cleveland College?
I love Redcar and Cleveland College because it is smaller college and everyone is really friendly. If you need any support there is always someone there to help you.


Susan Harburn – Electrical Lecturer

What is your background?
Hello my name is Susan Harburn and I am one of the electrical lecturers at Redcar and Cleveland College.
I was born in Middlesbrough and after I left school and I went into a career in business. In my early twenties, I went to Darlington College, where I retrained in electrical. After three years, I was offered a job at the college as a workshop lecturer. After a year I went on to Teesside University to study my PGCE. After a few years I ended up back at Darlington College as a workshop lecturer. I moved onto a training provider, where I delivered high voltage courses to engineers. Then I moved back into further education in a number of roles in different colleges in the Tees Valley.

What words of advice would you give someone thinking about a career in engineering?
My words of advice would be, to get an apprenticeship in engineering if you are really wanting to develop your hands-on experience. If this isn’t possible, then our full-time courses will give you a real grasp of the industry and skills you will require.
Also, come along to open days which will give you the chance to meet some of our brilliant course tutors who have great industry experience and will help to prepare you for your career in the engineering industry.

Which parts of engineering fascinates you?
Being from an electrical background, I love all aspects of electrical engineering. There is a lot of physics to learn however, I have always had a passion for science. I also like the design aspects of it to because this can be really challenging but you have to apply it to everything you install. You have to make sure that it is up to the current standards, future proofed and that it is safe for use.

What is your three top tips to give someone thinking about college?
• Make sure that you know how you are going to get to and from college. Here at Redcar and Cleveland College, we offer a fantastic 7-day bus pass for our students. Go to our website to find out more.
• Come prepared to learn. There will be a lot of practical elements to many of our courses but there is also theory to learn along the way as well, so make sure that you are prepared with the right equipment and resources.
• Research all of your options and what you are wanting to do. You might have an idea of which types of career roles you are wanting to go into but do you know all the different routes to get there? Could you study a full-time course, apprenticeship, A-levels or maybe even a T-level.

What do you love about Redcar and Cleveland College?
I love how friendly people are here and how we are a tight knit community. We all want to do the best for our students and help them to achieve their ambitions.

If you would like to find out more information about the range of engineering courses available at Redcar and Cleveland College visit www.cleveland.ac.uk/engineering.

Microsoftteams Image (4)
Share On:
Apply Now
Dementia Friends
EU Social Fund
Funding Agency
HM Government
North East Better Health
One Awards
Sir William Turner
Smart Assessor
Tees Valley Mayor
TEF Silver
Investors In The Environment