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Sophie Harker - Episode 020

Sophie Harker - Engineering Success

Sophie Harker is a Senior Aerodynamicist for BAE Systems.

Sophie is one of the youngest engineers to have achieved Chartered Engineer status at just 25 years old.

She works at the forefront of aerospace technology, developing advanced designs and concepts for new generation fast jets and aircraft that operate in space as well as inside the atmosphere.

Sophie has contributed directly to BAE Systems hypersonic capabilities including applying technologies from first hybrid air-breathing rocket engine system (SABRE) being developed by Reaction Ltd, which could revolutionise travel from the atmosphere into space.

One day she hopes to go into space herself as an Astronaut.

Sophie is an exceptionally talented engineer with her creative and innovative approach. Her work on hypersonic air vehicles includes building the necessary business case and defining the product philosophy at each stage of development. She has also led a process transformation programme within the avionics department at BAE Systems, which involved engaging with 400 other engineers to streamline the avionics design process.


In 2018 Sophie was awarded the Bee Beamont award which recognises newly qualified engineers who have made an outstanding contribution to the business in the early stages of their career.

She also won the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year award in 2018.

Again in 2018 Sophie was awarded the Sir Henry Royce Medal which recognised her research in developing future technologies for the aviation industry.

In 2019 Sophie won the RAEng Young Engineer of the Year and the RAES Young Person's Achievement Award.


Sophie is an active STEM Ambassador and features in the Royal Academy of Engineers flagship 'This Is Engineering' campaign promoting careers in engineering.

sophie's show notes.

4.20 How Sophie first became involved in engineering.

5.30 Who has been Sophie's biggest inspiration.

7.04 What Sophie enjoys the most about being an Aerodynamicist.

7.50 What Sophie's advice would be to someone thinking about a career in engineering.

9.20 How we should enthuse the next generation of talent into engineering.

11.10 Why Sophie feels there has been a skills shortage in engineering.

12.40 Does engineering need to promote itself better.

14.45 Sophie talks about promoting diversity and inclusion in engineering.

15.50 What attributes Sophie has that have helped her to be successful in aerospace engineering.

19.02 Sophie talks about the challenges ahead for engineering.

21.25 Sophie discusses the mentors she has had during her career.

22.55 How Sophie keeps herself motivated.

24.15 Sophie discusses how she develops herself.

25.25 How Sophie sees aerospace engineering changing in the next 5-10 years.

27.10 What the future holds for Sophie.

Georgia Thompson

Georgia Thompson is a Civil Engineer and the Co-Founder of


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Mamta Singhal

Mamta Singhal is an Engineer, a Public Speaker and New Product Design Expert.

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Engineering Success Jo Foster

Jo Foster is the Diversity and Inclusion Manager at The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

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connect with sophie.

BAE Systems
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