Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2020

Tue, 2020-06-23 10:55

Nicky Bradford CEng, FIMMM is delighted to have recently been awarded a fellowship of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and is honoured to be recognised as a FIMMM Chartered Materials Scientist Engineer.

Nicky’s route into engineering was perhaps not classed as the traditional path, completing a vocational course at Derby College, one of only two females in a class of over 50.

Since graduating in materials science technology, Nicky’s career has predominately been in the aerospace and space industry, however her journey to becoming a FIMMM Chartered Materials Scientist Engineer has been a challenging but equally rewarding one.

She has worked on many interesting and exciting missions throughout her career from aero-jet engines, manufacturing of jet engine fasteners involving metallurgical analysis, welding and NDT inspection, metallography preparation of micro sections.

She has also worked on numerous telecommunication satellites such as Amazonas 2, Sentinels, Glonass, Astra, Skynet 5D, Quantum, as well as International Space Station and  interplanetary missions to explore the Solar system: GAIA, Bepi Colombo,  ATV, CryoSat, LISA Pathfinder, Solar Orbiter, Cheops, Cubesat Copernicus & Exomars Rover (Rosalind Franklin) for Mars.

Nicky is an active STEM Ambassador who enjoys working with young people and loves the opportunity to talk about materials science and engineering, especially welding which her favourite! During her career, she has been involved with many STEM engagement events where she has organised and presented science and engineering workshops, careers events in local schools as well as at Winchester Science Museum & Planetarium during World Space Week to promote STEM.

Nicky works at Reaction Engines in the Quality Assurance department as a Materials and Quality Engineer providing guidance and expertise in materials quality and inspection to teams across the Company..

In this role, she is involved with material selection, mechanical testing coordination, supplier audits and mentoring of apprentices and colleagues following the graduate training programme.

The Quality Assurance team is the main centre of expertise for all issues relating to quality, inspection, specifications, standards and internal documentation procedures.

Nicky enjoys supporting and participating in workshops and attending conferences relevant to her expertise with the Institute and is currently mentoring a colleague on her journey for Chartered status.

She had this to say about her IOM3 contributions, “I feel honoured to be involved with activities for the Institute. Reaction Engines supports the duties I carry out and I hope to continue to contribute service to IOM³ in a technical domain and particularly to encourage celebration of International Women in Engineering Day”.

She adds, “I would also like to convey appreciation and support given by Richard Varvill, Founder and CTO at Reaction Engines for the Fellowship award as well as support from my former colleagues at Rolls-Royce Aero-RR-Naval Marine and Airbus Defence & Space.”


Nicky (front) with NASA astronauts Shannon Walker and Andy Thomas as well as Airbus Defence & Space (formally known as Astrium)  colleagues displaying a Mars Rover prototype at the Space Exhibition.


About IOM3 - The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) is a major UK science and engineering institution whose activities promote and develop all aspects of the Materials Cycle, from exploration and extraction, to characterisation, processing and application, to product recycling, repurposing and reuse. IOM3 supports professionals in materials, minerals, mining and associated technical disciplines to become heroes of the transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient society, not villains. We seek to be the best professional membership body we can be by providing modern, flexible services, quality technical content and value for money.