As a mechanical engineering graduate and the only female on her course, Jaz left university with a passion to encourage more women to consider careers in STEM. In 2015, she went about a mission to engage as many young people as possible through her role as a STEM Ambassador and received an MBE for services to sustainability in the Energy sector and for promoting diversity in STEM.
Education – from engineering to energy.
Jaz discovered her passion for energy whilst studying for her Mechanical Engineering degree at City, University of London. She saw how engineering could be applied to make buildings, organisations and processes more energy-efficient. Whilst studying, Jaz worked part time in her local Sainsbury’s supermarket. It was here that she completed an energy study as part of her final year university project. This gave her real-life experience of energy engineering and management in the workplace and through this project she introduced a number of energy-saving projects within the store such as installing refrigeration night blinds, optimising heating and cooling controls as well as carrying out a staff awareness programme. After completing her degree was offered a role in the Sainsbury’s head office in their energy management team.
Career – energy and sustainability
After spending 5 years at Sainsburys, Jaz then went on to lead energy and sustainability programmes for Debenhams, Starbucks, WeWork and Just Eat Takeaway.com. Businesses whether they’re supermarkets, retails stores, coffee shops or offices all use a huge amount of energy to light, heat and cool their spaces. Jaz has worked with these big brands to provide them advice and support to reduce their carbon footprint.
She uses her technical knowledge combined with her creative skills to educate, empower and inspire other teams to take action on sustainability topics. Jaz believes that everyone has a role to play when it comes to sustainability, whether you’re a new starter or the CEO of the company, Jaz promotes that protecting the planet can make good business sense.
Advice – STEM professionals make the world a safer, healthier, smarter and more sustainable place.
Having gained lots of different experience working for big corporate companies, Jaz has some wisdom she’d like to share with aspiring STEM students.
STEM is all around us, it’s in everything we do; we are all so reliant on its outputs. The phones we use, the modes of transport we travel on, the buildings that house and school us… STEM practitioners are often behind all the things we take for granted in life and the more people we can encourage into STEM fields, the safer, healthier, smarter and more sustainable the world will hopefully become.
Jaz featured in the 2021 Tomorrows Engineer’s Net Zero Hero campaign – check it out>>