Female Army Engineer sets out to inspire the next generation

Sergeant Kate Dunscombe took 180 female Army Cadets to a STEM weekend to mark International Women in Engineering Day.

This is the second such event dubbed Exercise Sapper Cadet. The event was organised again this year by Sergeant Kate Dunscombe, an Army Reservist in 65 Works Group Royal Engineers, part of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group. Kate is also a Signalling Systems Trainer for the London Underground. Alongside this, she is a volunteer Company Sergeant Major in the Army Cadet Force.

Kate said: “The aim is to get young women who are interested in an engineering career to see the wider opportunities available. Many people think that the Army is just about the infantry and may not be aware of the variety of engineering opportunities available.”

She continued: “The motto of the Army Cadet Force is to “inspire to achieve”, and that’s what we have set out to do this weekend. We have put females in the spotlight and demonstrated how innovative, challenging and exciting engineering can be, and that it’s a career choice open to all.”


Held at Chetwynd Barracks in Nottingham, the interactive weekend involved a series of stands including command tasks, bridge building and STEM challenges. Insight into the breadth and scope of engineering careers was given by female Army Officers and soldiers and concluded with a Question and Answer session.

Sergeant Kate Dunscombe explained: “I wanted the girls to meet women who are working in engineering already and see what they have achieved. I hope they leave knowing a little more about engineering and how being a woman is no barrier to a fantastic career in engineering.”

Army Cadets water filtration challenge at STEM weekend.

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The cadets had an opportunity to speak to military personnel about their engineering and logistic roles and learn how STEM skills contribute to the success of the British Army. They also heard how a STEM career path doesn’t have to mean university. The Army has one of the largest nationally recognised apprenticeship schemes in the UK including engineering and maintenance and technology and communications.

Cadet Aaliyah Revelo (13) from Swavesey detachment said: “I’ve really enjoyed it. The Command Tasks pushed you out of your comfort zone.”

Katie Dunscombe Robert VossSMI Kate Dunscombe of 3 Coy, Beds & Herts ACF, was presented with the Lord-Lieutenant’s Meritorious Service Award Certificate by the Lord-Lieutenant for Hertfordshire Robert Voss CBE in June at the Army Reserve Centre in Hertford

These awards are made for exceptional meritorious service rendered to the Reserves and Cadet forces in the county.   The nominations are made by the Commanding Officers and are reviewed by the Lieutenancy Military Committee, who make recommendations to the Lord-Lieutenant.

Main image shows event organiser Kate Dunscombe with cadets at the Exercise Sapper Cadet 2019 weekend event. 

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