Your Young Engineers team is led by Jenni Doonan. She is supported by a team of teachers, assistants and family to deliver our classes.
My name is Jenni Doonan and I run Young Engineers Edinburgh & West Lothian. I am a Chartered Engineer and have spent my career building, testing and operating satellites in space. I fell in love with science and engineering at school when I saw a space shuttle launch and went on to study engineering at university both in my Bachelors Degree in Computing & Electronics and in my Masters degree in Astronautics & Space Engineering.
In the early part of my career I worked in Satellite Operations and was part of the team that launched the first of a new set of weather satellites called Meteosat Second Generation. I worked on the power and thermal parts of the spacecraft making sure it was able to maintain its mission to take a new picture of Earth every 15 minutes. It was an amazing experience to be part of the team and to be in an environment where I could see a near live picture of our planet.
When I returned to the UK, I joined Airbus Defence and Space to work on the Galileo programme. This project was responsible for the development of Europe’s equivalent to the GPS satellites. It is by far the biggest European satellite programme in a generation, a truly international project with partners from all over Europe. My particular role was in the development and operation of the equipment we used to test the satellites. I spent a long time working in the manufacturing centre for the satellites, ensuring that every command we could send and every message we got back from the satellite was correctly defined and that we could configure the satellite to complete its mission.
More recently I moved in to Project Management and Business development working for companies such as Raytheon, HE Space and Clyde Space. I travelled extensively, represented companies at international conferences and gave talks about the latest space technology. Throughout my career I also volunteered as a STEM Ambassador, going into schools and talking to children about Engineering with the aim of inspiring and exciting them about the opportunities that come from studying STEM subjects. It is from this position that I decided it was time for something different and led me to starting Young Engineers Edinburgh & West Lothian.
My love of engineering has taken me across the world, it has given me a varied career and it has taught me how to solve problems. I love my subject and I love getting young people excited about it. My goal here at Young Engineers is to give every child the chance to have a positive and inspiring experience, to enjoy learning and to come out of each class full of ideas and excitement, proud of their achievements.