CD 157: Investigating the submarine canyons off Portugal


Crew profiles...

Emma Northrop


Is engineering a career for a lady? Of course, and Emma is here to prove it. Sitting around the table in the quiet of the Atlantic evening it is hard to imagine Emma getting covered in oil or designing drilling rigs but that is what she has done! Emma’s ambition is to do more hands on engineering and designing of equipment which is why she is now working for NERC. As she describes her work, it is clear that she finds the job very rewarding

Whilst on board Emma is part of the technical team deploying and maintaining the sampling equipment. Back in Southampton she works in the National Marine Equipment Pool designing and maintaining equipment so that it can be used at sea by any scientist who can prove a use for it.

So, how did Emma start out on this career? At school in Cambridge she gained A levels in Double Maths, Physics and Chemistry and followed this up with a four year M.Eng. degree at Southampton University. About 10% of the course were female – so, come on girls, you can do it too!

As an engineer you can get to see the world, Emma has worked in West Africa (Congo), Azerbaijan, Italy and France. North Sea oil rigs are just the place for engineers and this is where Emma started as a trainee drilling engineer with a company called Schlumberger.

Actually, seeing Emma in her hard hat and overalls, it is also hard to visualise her getting stuck in to her hobbies; doing modern jive or hill walking.

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April 2004
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