Start of main content

Mamta Singhal

The IET volunteer journey of Mamta Singhal has been rich and varied.

Here we explore her route into engineering, her career to date and why she invests so much time and effort in promoting the IET and its objectives.

Mamta’s parents both have a technical background and inspired her to pursue a career in engineering. She completed a BEng in Product Design Engineering at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art in 2001.

At the University of Strathclyde, she gained an MSc in Design, Manufacturing, and Engineering Management in 2002, then returned for her MBA in 2007.

She went on to work for many global brands including Dyson, Hasbro and Mars in roles ranging from Design Engineer to Senior Innovation Executive, Global Project Quality Engineer and Commercialisation Manager.

In February 2021 Mamta took on a new position as Global Sustainability Program Manager at Diageo.

“In all my roles, I aim to make the customer experience more enjoyable through great innovation and by applying technical thinking to resolve everyday issues,” she said.

Addressing the skills shortage

Mamta’s volunteer relationship with the IET began in 2007, soon after winning the Women’s Engineering Society Young Woman Engineer (YWE) of the Year Award.

At that time she was becoming increasingly aware of the UK’s STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] skills shortage: “In industry, it’s often tough to find people with a good technical mind, so companies often resort to recruiting non-technical people in technical roles,” she said.

“I find this very frustrating. There simply aren’t enough people entering the engineering profession, so companies have to spend time training new recruits who are not actually all that passionate about engineering.

“I became a volunteer to encourage and support more young people to become engineers, and to give something back to the technically minded community.”

High-profile volunteer

As an IET volunteer, Mamta has delivered several engineering workshops and presentations to young people, including speaking at events in 2016 about the engineering of toys. She said: “I like the energy and buzz of presenting to people who want to learn about engineering.”

She thoroughly enjoys judging engineering competitions, such as the IET Global Innovation Awards (2013 to 2015 and 2020) and the IET YWE of the Year Awards (2015, 2017, 2018). “It’s so exciting, being able to reward those who have gone above and beyond in their field, broken barriers and achieved remarkable things,” she said.

Mamta is often called upon as a media spokesperson for engineering. Her views have been quoted frequently in the press, ranging from The Times to The Hindu, and in 2017 she was featured in Cosmopolitan magazine as part of the IET’s ‘Portrait of an Engineer’ campaign. She has also appeared on national television several times, including on BBC Breakfast and ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

She was heavily involved in promoting the 40th anniversary of the IET’s YWE Awards in 2017 and has fronted several IET campaigns. “During media launches the IET has been 100% beside me, supporting any last-minute issues and challenges,” she said.

Taking on new responsibilities

Mamta never shies away from new responsibilities.

In 2018 she joined the IET’s UK Manufacturing Policy Panel. In this role she provides strategic advice to Government, responds to consultations, delivers thought leadership and develops position statements and other materials within her field of expertise.

“I have worked in the world of manufacturing since graduating in 2002,” said Mamta. “I really like understanding how things are made and how they work. As I have progressed in my career, I have been keen to learn about the wider world beyond my day job, including understanding the government’s challenges and concerns around UK manufacturing and development.

“Being on the Panel has taught me the value of a 360-degree view and appreciating all the issues that are at play, from start-ups struggling during the pandemic to academics addressing key engineering problems. It’s a very broad and dynamic group.

“The most enjoyable part of my role on the Panel is feeling valued and leveraging my technical understanding of manufacturing, supply chain management and engineering. As a female engineer, I know that I am just as capable as my male colleagues and that I do have a voice at the table.”

In 2019 Mamta became an IET Council Member and joined the IET Volunteer Engagement Board. “I am the first woman of Indian heritage to join Council in the IET’s 150-year history,” she said. “It’s a great privilege to be on Council – I love the breadth of knowledge, the input from the global network and the general drive to make the world a better place.

“My two IET Governance roles have really boosted my confidence in the boardroom.”

A wealth of opportunity

Each of Mamta’s volunteer roles has presented her with new challenges, which she views as learning and development opportunities.

“I am far more socially aware now and feel more comfortable working with people of all ages, levels and abilities,” she said. “The intensive media training I received from the IET and Media Woman was particularly useful. I really appreciated it because now I feel confident speaking to large audiences.”

Mamta works hard to inspire others by writing blogs and by posting pictures on social media when attending engineering events: “I do my best to show people that it’s really fun and exciting to be part of a community of technical experts.

“My profession and my passion are one and the same, so I can always make time for my IET volunteering. What I enjoy most about it is the chance to meet such a broad range of amazing people, from celebrities, board members and Fellows to students and children. My biggest achievement as an IET volunteer so far is being a woman of colour at Council level.

“My advice to anyone wanting to become an IET volunteer is to reach out to the IET Volunteer Support Unit and tell them what you’re interested in. I’m sure they’ll find something for you to get involved in!”