Leading female engineers & reservists

June 23, 2021

Today marks both Reserves Day and International Women in Engineering Day of this year’s Armed Forces Week. 

Our Head of Engagement, Michelle McKearnon, was invited to visit HMS Spey’s formal commission into service in Invergordon last week. She attended the ship’s commissioning rehearsal on June 17 as well as the commissioning ceremony on June 18. 

HMS Spey rehearsing their commissioning on June 17.
HMS Spey rehearsing their commissioning on June 17.

Today we are highlighting three incredible women from HMS Spey. The first two are in honour of International Women in Engineering Day 2021, and the third in honour of Reserves Day 2021.

Meet Lieutenant Nicola Gibbons, a female engineer and the Weapon Engineering Officer onboard HMS Spey. 

 Lt Gibbons in front of HMS Spey on the ship's commissioning day.
Lt Gibbons in front of HMS Spey on the ship’s commissioning day.

21-year-old Annabel Trown from Glasgow is also a female engineer on HMS Spey. She is an Engineering Technician on the ship. She wanted to follow her grandfather’s footsteps: “My grandad was a ship builder at Clydebank in Glasgow and I just thought ‘I want to do that’.”

She reflects on being one of the only females in her field: “In engineering, a lot of the time I am the only female, but you really don’t realise it because we’re such good friends and part of a team. It’s a privilege to be in this position and because we are a different generation, it’s normal for us.”

 Engineering Technician Trown.
Engineering Technician Trown.

Last but not least, we want to showcase Leading Seaman Nicola Triggs. She has been a Reservist with the Royal Navy for 12 years. For her civilian work, Nicola works for a company called Leonardo as a project planner. Leonardo is one of the UK’s leading aerospace companies and one of biggest suppliers of defence and security equipment to the Ministry of Defence. They are also Armed Forces Covenant signatories and Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award winners.

On the benefits of having a Reservist in a civilian company, she said: “The Navy has given me skills and qualifications that I can bring back and use in the company such as leadership and communication skills.”

Nicola explains why she loves being a Reservist: “Being a Reservist is important to me because it challenges me and it’s something completely different to what I do every day. Here at work, I sit at a computer. Being with the Navy, I could be shooting guns, driving a boat, parading for the Queen, and I love it.”

Leading Seaman Triggs.

To learn more about Leading Seaman Triggs, click HERE