Marnie McKay

MEng Electrical & Mechanical Engineering


Marnie McKay, who has just completed the first year of an MEng in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering with International Study, was inspired to study her degree after her experience at the Scottish Space School @ Strathclyde in 2013.

“I had always loved maths and science at school but fell for the male-dominated stereotypes which I believed dominated this field and instead aspired to study Law.  It was only after attending the Scottish Space School’s week-long residential programme at Strathclyde and the subsequent Learning Journey to Houston, Texas, that my eyes were opened to the world of engineering. 

“Privileged to talk with current engineering students and faculty staff and to spend time with engineering and science experts, both from the University and from NASA, I was enlightened by the vast extent of engineering’s true global contribution…and potential.  More importantly, though, I was to learn that gender was no barrier.  Engineers are individuals with a passion for science and maths who commit to work together and with others to make a true difference to the world, and I was left in no doubt that I wanted to do likewise.”

Marnie returned from her Scottish Space School experiences determined to pursue engineering and, in addition to achieving straight A’s in her 7 Highers and 3 Advanced Highers, went on to receive a Distinction for the Scottish Science Baccalaureate for her project on ‘Aircraft Safety Advances’, which involved collaborating with industry, scientists and students from the Faculty’s Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.

Currently, Marnie is relishing academic life at Strathclyde:  “The learning attached to my course is very exciting – I become absorbed in what I’m being taught and am fascinated by the endless possibilities we are being helped to realise.”

In addition to her studies, Marnie has fully embraced the student societies which are available through the University - she attends meetings of Interconnect, a society for women studying science and engineering, and is a student representative with the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Society.  She is also a committed member of the Strathclyde Space Exploration and Development Society (StrathSEDS) and enjoys rehearsing and performing with the University’s Choir. 

Marnie is also passionate about school outreach and ambassadorial work and embraces every opportunity to encourage young people to consider engineering as a career option. 

She is also making the most of networking and industry learning as a member of the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology), IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers), WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) and WES (Women’s Engineering Society) professional institutes.

Earlier this year, Marnie was the proud recipient of one of the UK’s prestigious IET Diamond Jubilee Scholarships.  She is now also a member of the Diamond Scholars Representative Council where she hopes to make a difference through representing her fellow scholarship holders.  Marnie also succeeded in winning a much sought-after IET Power Academy Scholarship, with Atkins Global as her sponsoring company.  As part of this unique partnership between academia and industry, Marnie will benefit from paid summer internships between each year of her undergraduate degree programme.

“Choosing to study engineering at Strathclyde has definitely been the best decision I have made in my life.  The opportunities for learning, networking, skills development and befriending like-minded people are immense and I’m confident it will enable me to make a real contribution to society.  The Scottish Space School @ Strathclyde was pivotal in opening my eyes to engineering, and I hope, in turn, I can continue to share my story and encourage others to do the same.”