Meet Emily Melville: BP Subsea Engineer and Advocate for Women in STEM

Emily Melville, 28, works as a Subsea Engineer within BP’s Global Projects Organisation. After completing a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Strathclyde, Emily went travelling around South America before joining BP, on the graduate scheme, in 2014. Emily has been based in the UK, Aberdeen and London, working for major projects in the North Sea and the Caspian Sea.

The scheme provides graduates with the opportunity to work on technology development, project implementation and operations alongside key industry leaders in an exciting and supportive environment:

“I was able to make a real contribution which highly motivates me,” says Emily of her experience on the programme.

The structure of the graduate scheme afforded Emily the opportunity to develop core technical, managerial and leadership skills whilst providing her with the necessary foundation to become a Chartered Engineer with her chosen engineering institute.

Emily believes the diversity of the programme and the exposure to various aspects of the industry were invaluable in developing her confidence as a young engineer.

“There is a wealth of development opportunities for future graduates. I spent a significant amount of time working offshore on construction vessels and on a BP operated FPSO (a floating production storage and offloading vessel), where the level of responsibilities I attained have really developed my skills and confidence,” added Emily.

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Commitment to safety and diversity

Safety in the workplace is of paramount importance to Emily as her engineer father, who worked in the energy industry for 25 years, was injured while working offshore for a different employer.

“Everyone should return home safely to their families. As an engineer at BP this is a fundamental part of my job and my own personal experience drives me to try to make a real difference in this area,” says Emily.

Emily particularly values working on both onshore and offshore projects and feels that exposure to such a broad range of challenges and environments is an extraordinary opportunity for her to develop as an engineer and leader.

“Working at BP is fast-paced and offers a challenging yet rewarding career. I enjoy the diversity of my work and being able to work with different teams and people who have all contributed to my development. BP has a strong focus on diversity. You get to work with a diverse and talented set of people every day,” added Emily.

Supporting females in STEM

At less than 10%, the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe. Emily has become an advocate for encouraging and empowering young girls and women to pursue engineering careers.

“I am passionate about the promotion of diverse and gender balanced teams and will continue my work with students of all ages to support the health of STEM, because the proven benefits will ensure increased innovative and unproven problem solving for the technical challenges in the energy industry,” said Emily.

Growing up with a father who worked in the field introduced Emily to the world of engineering. Through this exposure, she realised engineering was the ideal discipline as it allowed her to combine her interest and talent in both the arts and sciences:

“A degree in engineering sets you up for a rewarding career in which you are never limited and always able to try something new. I wanted a diverse and challenging career where I could put problem resolution into practice.”

There have been instances where Emily has been the only female on board a construction vessel.

“Being the only female may have been intimidating at first but instances such as this only motivate me to become a better role model for young girls and women. If I can do it, why can’t you? I gained trust and respect and was subsequently asked to support other work scopes. BP is very supportive of women pursuing careers in STEM,” she added.


Considering a career in STEM?

When asked about the best piece of career advice she has ever received, Emily replied: “What I’ve learnt is that no two career paths are the same. It’s about making sure you have a strong foundation and getting as much experience as you can. I said yes to everything in the beginning and now I have an amazing range of experience.”

With the support of BP, Emily will pursue her chartered engineering accreditation this spring.

“This is a personal goal of mine. I am signed up to the BP Company Accredited Training Scheme and I was provided with a Sponsor who has supported me throughout,” said Emily.

If you are interested in a STEM career at BP or would like to learn more about BP’s exciting graduate programmes, please visit bp.com/careers for more information.

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