British Sugar scientist in Bury St Edmunds heads up #LottieTour

Jo Douglas, who works at British Sugar, is promoting engineering skills with a 'Lottie' doll campaign on social media. She has helped set up the Young Members Board of the Women's Engineering Society PICTURE: Mecha Morton

Jo Douglas, process scientist at British Sugar in Bury St Edmunds, is promoting the importance of women becoming engaged in engineering.

Jo is chairman of of the Young Members Board of the Women’s Engineering Society which has been using a doll like figure the Lottie Doll to flag up that women can be highly successful in technical roles.

Jo, who completed a PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Bath, has been posting images of Lottie Doll at the British Sugar site on Twitter and Instragram as part of the campaign.

Jo works to ensure compliance in productivity, and ways in which sugar beet yields can be more energy efficient.

She said: “The factory is really like a big chemistry set.”

A maths and science enthusiast at school she completed her chemistry degree at the University of Edinburgh and when she went on to the PhD she discovered the joys of engineering.

She and WES president Benita Mehra set up the YMP along with 11 other young female engineers and it launched on National Women in Engineering Day on June 23 2016. This featured a single doll Robot Lottie. This year a wider range of dolls will be used in the campaign to engage KS1 and KS2 girls in engineering and STEM subjects.

She said: “ At school I always liked science and maths but missed out on engineering . I’ve had some interesting re-actions to the Lottie Doll campaign. If we have an issue with getting women into STEM careers generally then Lottie is a good point to be able to talk about that.

“#LottieTour was really successful last year and we wanted to build on that while doing something a bit different this year.

“It’s important to show that all girls can be engineers and using a full range of dolls really supports this message.”

Benita Mehra added: “Lottie drew attention to engineering and where women work in technical roles in a way that was magical. We know it had a huge impact with tweets and social media.”

Lottie Dolls MD Ian Harkins said: “Maybe those precious moments in exploration and invention will lay foundations for incredible achievements in adulthood.”

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