Nicola Asker
Mrs Nicola Asker
Network Analyst, National Grid
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom

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Close Up
  • What I Do
    I am part of a team which designs the future gas transmission network for the UK. My particular role is maintaining our view of all the planned work over the next ten years and looking at how these are funded through our relationship with our regulator.
  • Why Engineering?
    I chose engineering because I really enjoyed both maths and physics but wanted to be able to apply them practically to make a difference to people's lives.
  • School Days
    I went to the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow to study a Masters degree in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.
  • My Day At Work
    I usually work at a desk and use a lot of Excel spreadsheets but most of my time is spent talking to colleagues to get updates on what is happening for different projects.
  • Best Part
    I like knowing that my job, though only a small part, makes sure that everyone in the UK has a safe supply of gas and electricity.
  • Proud Moments
    As well as my main role, I look after the new graduates joining the company for our department. I am very proud of how they progress and my part in encouraging them and advising them.
  • Challenges
    Studying for my masters took a lot of work as it was two degrees at once meaning we had a LOT of lectures as well as a wide range of project work. Thankfully, I really enjoy learning like that and came out with the highest level for my Masters.
  • My Family
    I grew up in Scotland and have three younger brothers ranging from 23 to 9 years old. They all still live in Scotland so I don't get to see them as often as I'd like but stay in touch and encourage the younger ones to enjoy their science.
  • Dreams and Goals
    In the short term, my priorities are to make some improvements with the systems I use and move into a role with slightly more responsibility as well as start a family. In the long term, my only goals are to continue working at National Grid in roles where I am challenged and enjoy my work.
  • Inspiration
    I was probably only aware of engineering as a career option because my step-dad is an electrical engineer but all the choices I've made have been based on what I enjoy doing.
  • Want to be an Engineer?
    Don't make assumptions about the type of work it will involve as there are thousands of different things that engineers do and they can be creative as well as logical. Your skills are needed so if you want to make a difference to people's lives, this is a great way to do it.
  • Additional Thoughts
    Your skills are needed so if you want to make a difference to people's lives, this is a great way to do it.
  • Hobbies
    I love writing letters and craft activities like making cards to send to my friends around the world. I read when I can and enjoy all sorts of different books from Terry Pratchett to Jane Austen and Agatha Christie.
Biography
I enjoy a challenge and studied for a joint degree in electrical and mechanical engineering. Taking my lead from my step-dad, and electrical engineer, I found my way into engineering because I enjoyed maths, physics and computing at school but didn't want to study any of these by themselves at University. I have tried out consultancy and research and had spent 18 months as a volunteer with 17 amazing Uganda children. I now work as a network analyst at National Grid, exploring how the gas transmission network will need to adapt to meet future needs in the UK. I joined the company through its graduate programme, which offered a great deal of training and experience in different parts of the business.
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Education
I studied for an MEng in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.
Latest Questions
  • karissa

    Added Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 11:35 PM

    I was talking to my professor and he mentioned that electrical engineering was very specific so I should look into other types of engineering, but I feel like what i want to do is best suited for ee. Am I wrong? I am only a first year so I haven't worked with circuits yet so i'm still unsure.
    Answers 1
    Nicola Asker, National Grid
    Answered Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 4:27 PM
    Hi Karissa. It's a tough decision and it depends on what your specific college/University will cover on their course. It also depends what types of technology/inventing you are interested in. Perhaps try researching some jobs that would interest you and ...
    Read More
  • Yulisa, Uplift Williams prep, dallas tx asked Nicola Asker, National Grid

    Added Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 6:26 AM

    Why did you choose electrical and mechanical? Did you ever have comments that those engineer roles were only for men?
    Related to Choosing a Degree, Electrical, Internships & Jobs, Mechanical, Opportunities/Challenges for Women
    Answers 1
    Nicola Asker, National Grid
    Answered Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 6:26 AM

    The main reason I chose to do electrical and mechanical engineering was that I couldn't choose between them and was told it was a much harder degree. I like a challenge. I chose engineering because I enjoyed maths and physics but wanted to use them ...

    Read More
  • John, Dar-es-Salaam asked Nicola Asker, National Grid

    Added Monday, February 1, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    My daughter is in her first year for a four year degree in Mechanical engineering. The class has two girls only and she is not yet sure if the degree is worthy for her future Your advise please
    Related to Mechanical, Opportunities/Challenges for Women
    Answers 1
    Nicola Asker, National Grid
    Answered Monday, February 1, 2016 at 11:57 AM
    Hi John. When I was at University I was the only girl in my course of 50 people. Luckily we shared lectures with other, similar courses which had a few more girls. It never really bothered me and it can be a plus since people are more likely to remember ...
    Read More
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