Hope Ralston – Apprentice Engineer, Grangemouth

In the second half of 2019, we were pleased to welcome our first female engineering apprentice. Hope originally started her career as a laboratory technician, then studied manufacturing engineering at college.

Barry Heeps, Port Engineer, Grangemouth, asked Hope about her experience in the Engineering Department to date:

What drove you to pursue a career in engineering?

I wanted to pursue a career in engineering as I previously worked as a laboratory technician and went to college to study manufacturing engineering. I really enjoyed the course and wanted to become an engineer and study engineering in more depth.

How have you settled in with the engineering team in Grangemouth?

I feel that I have settled in well into the engineering team in Grangemouth and have become more familiar with the team and new surroundings.

What are you enjoying the most about your apprenticeship so far?

So far I am really enjoying the large variety of different jobs in my apprenticeship. I am also enjoying learning more about engineering both at college and at Forth Ports.

What challenges have you faced so far and how did you overcome them?

The challenges I have faced so far are adjusting to working in a heavy engineering environment, which includes working outside in all weather conditions and working at height. I have found this really enjoyable and I’ve enjoyed the challenge.

What projects have you been involved with so far?

The biggest project I have been involved with so far is the expansion of the fixed reefer sockets within the port. To accommodate the growing volume of reefers coming through the port, I helped build, install and test a number of additional auxiliary reefer panels to increase the number of fixed points for refrigerated containers.