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Designing next-gen weapons and using engineering skills in disaster relief

May 14, 2019 / IMechE

As a teenager, Holli Kimble dreamed of joining the army. Today, the 31-year-old mechanical engineer leads a team developing weapons for the UK Armed Forces and in her free time volunteers with a charity that sends her to disaster-stricken areas all over the world. At the age of 15, a classmate inspired Holli to join the Army Cadets. She never looked back. From then on, she knew her future would be somehow related to the military forces. A degree in mechanical engineering seemed like a suitable way in – one that would make her not just an ordinary soldier. I have always liked solving problems and I see this as what engineering is, says Holli, a graduate of the University of Exeter. You have to be able to learn lots of things very quickly and then apply them in different situations.
Originally, Holli had her heart set on the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. But after graduation she got a coveted spot on the Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) Graduate Scheme, one of the best graduate development programmes for engineers and scientists in the UK, and joined Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) instead. Today, she works as a chief engineer injecting innovative technology into new weapons projects.