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In safe hands: bp’s women engineers

Release date:
23 June 2023
Safety comes first at bp – so we are all in on this year’s #MakeSafetySeen theme for International Women in Engineering Day. To mark the event, we meet four women engineers at the forefront of keeping bp operations safe – from high up on a wind turbine in Idaho to far out in the Caspian Sea
🕒 5 min read | 📖 Feature

Keeping the turbines turning



Wind power technology is advancing fast. Miranda is one of the people ensuring it advances safely.


She’s a project engineer with bp’s gas & low carbon energy team. Part of her job is to help make sure that the turbines, equipment and people working on repowering projects are kept safe throughout, especially when working hundreds of feet in the air. Repowering involves replacing older turbines with newer and more efficient versions.

“These days, you can find me either in the office working on risk management or in the field supporting contractor management, doing equipment inspections, or doing self-verification safety checks,” she says.


Miranda, 26, joined bp in June 2021 after an internship and is part of a programme that will see her gaining experience in a variety of roles over three years. For someone who loved maths and science at school, a career in engineering seemed like a natural choice.


“During my first year in university, I met a woman who worked in the renewable energy industry designing wind turbines and I was sold! I walked straight to my advisor’s office and declared my major,” says Miranda, who studied at the University of Michigan.


For the meantime, she’s enjoying the views when she’s up on the turbines, especially at the Goshen wind farm in Idaho, where on a clear day, she can see Grand Teton National Park. “An engineering degree opens the door to so many different paths,” she says. “I love that flexibility – it’s like a choose-your-own-adventure career. 10/10 would recommend!”

“An engineering degree opens the door to so many different paths – it’s like a choose-your-own-adventure career. 10/10 would recommend!”

Keeping corrosion at bay



Growing up in Azerbaijan, Gunay never imagined that one day she would be working as a corrosion engineer for bp. “Teaching and medicine were more traditional fields for women at that time,” she says.

After studying chemistry in university and getting a master’s degree in the subject, she worked as an assistant in a school before applying for a job in engineering with bp. 


She started as a trainee in 2013 and was then accepted into the offshore corrosion team. Gunay was sent on assignment from Baku to London in 2022 and now helps to find solutions to corrosion or erosion at bp oil and gas facilities around the world, as well as on the lower carbon Net Zero Teesside Project.


“Corrosion and erosion are one of the biggest challenges on facilities, and it can have significant consequences. I feel very proud when I help to solve those challenges and contribute to safe operations,” she says. 


Gunay is passionate about inspiring the next generation and goes into schools to speak with students and participates in workshops.


“Engineering is a great way to help people,” she says. “As time passes, I love this job more and more.”

“Engineering is a great way to help people. As time passes, I love this job more and more.”

Bringing a fresh perspective



As a bp appraisal engineer in Baku, Azerbaijan, Fariza is used to solving problems. 


At the moment, she is working on modifying and upgrading a bp platform in the Caspian so it can continue to operate safely and reliably for years to come.

“We want to be able to access the resources that are still under the ground and also use the infrastructure we already have out there,” she says. “Our job is to screen different ideas and concepts and find the safest and most efficient way of doing things.” 


Fariza, 35, comes from a family of engineers so going into the field was an obvious choice for her. After studying engineering at university, she joined bp in 2009 and has worked in roles across the company, from tactical asset operation to strategic business development. Those positions included work offshore where she was, at times, the only woman on a rig. 


“Things have changed a lot over the past few years,” she says. “It’s now a much more diverse environment with many female colleagues bringing fresh perspectives to the once male-dominated workplace.”


Her diverse skill set is needed on projects across bp, and Fariza enjoys the wide range of opportunities.


“Today it’s brownfield platform upgrades and hydrocarbon field development, tomorrow could be a solar panel installation or hydrogen plants,” she says.


One thing, however, does remain the same – her passion for her job. “I’ve solved multiple challenges, delivered solutions, met wonderful people, had lots of travel,” she says. “I got what I was expecting, and beyond.”

“Things have changed a lot over the past few years. It’s now a much more diverse environment with many female colleagues bringing fresh perspectives to the once male-dominated workplace.”

Ensuring safety on site



Keeping our retail staff, contractors and customers safe drives Ruth every day.


With a background in industrial engineering and a master’s degree in safety, she has been with bp for more than 25 years, in which time she’s worked in several different fields. Today, Ruth is a maintenance manager based in Madrid and she’s responsible for safety adherence at bp retail sites in Spain, Portugal and Türkiye.

She leads teams in these three countries, overseeing the maintenance of all site equipment – from the tanks, pumps, shops and carwash to canopies and forecourts.  


“Every day in this role is different,” she says. “I could be in the office discussing a variety of topics with my colleagues, or on conference calls with teams from other countries. I could be travelling to Lisbon, Istanbul or around Spain, visiting sites and spending time with frontline contractors and site staff to analyse how processes for eliminating risks can be improved.” 

Whether she’s inspecting a forecourt canopy from an elevated platform, or supervising entry into an underground tank, Ruth takes great pride her job.

“My role is 100% related to safety – no works can be carried out on sites unless they follow strict safety rules and procedures. The most important thing we all have to do every day is arrive home safely to our families.”

But, Ruth admits, she wasn’t always so confident. 

“At the beginning of my career, it was not easy being both young and female. I had to make a great effort to make myself respected and listened to when I visited sites,” she says. “It helped me to believe in myself and try harder every day.”

“The most important thing we all have to do every day is arrive home safely to our families.”

About International Women in Engineering Day

International Women in Engineering Day was originally set up by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) as a national campaign to raise the profile of female engineers and encourage more young women and girls to take up engineering careers.


A decade on, it’s an international event that includes online interactive events and panel discussions celebrating the achievements of women working in engineering. 

Meet more inspiring women at bp

Miranda, Gunay, Fariza and Ruth have many other female engineering colleagues at bp, who carry out exciting jobs crucial to supplying the energy the world needs today while working towards the energy transition. 


Take a journey around the bp world with our interactive globe to meet more inspiring women engineers and find out what many had to say about innovation in engineering ahead of INWED 2022. 


Click and drag to rotate the globe, then scroll or pinch to zoom in. Hover over the colour-coded pinpoint to learn more about each person.

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