About the Association

SHAPA has been the UK's leading specialist Association for the solids handling and processing industry since its formation in 1981. Our support and assistance has allowed our members to maximise their profitability, whilst taking advantage of the many benefits afforded by the Association.

Kathryn Vanes / Marketing Executive

Metal Detection Services (MDS) is the UK Distributor for CEIA Industrial Metal Detection Equipment in the food, pharmaceutical and textile industries. MDS aims to provide clients with the latest technology to ensure brand and consumer safety, as well as reduced production interruptions and the confidence to meet the demands of industry regulators and retailers. MDS can also provide training, telephone support, spare parts, repairs and validations for a number of metal detector brands. I work alongside the Sales and Marketing, Technical and Service Ops Directors to ensure that the MDS message is getting in front of the right people. I do this through branding, content creation, updating the website, blog and social media, targeted marketing, as well as assisting with trade shows within the UK and occasionally overseas.

How many years have you worked in the engineering industry?

I have been doing marketing for the engineering industry for 5 years, and have been in my current role for close to 2 years.

What do you love about the engineering industry?

There are a number of things I love about the engineering industry, I think my favourite thing is understanding how things work, or are made. I also find it fascinating how technology is used day to day to make our life’s faster, easier and safer. The advancements within the medical field as an example thanks to 3D printing, or being able to simulate train crashes through software to ensure that train seats are built to protect the passenger if there was an accident. The more time I spend within the industry the more things I discover needed engineers to create them, I think we take a lot of things for granted and often forget to think about how it was created.

Advice for a young woman looking at getting into any aspect of the engineering industry

You don’t have to be an engineer to be involved in the industry, there are so many sectors within the engineering industry that you can go into such as marketing and PR, finance, HR as examples. For me being a woman has never had a negative impact on my career, if anything, not having an engineering background and being a woman has given me an edge. I can market the products to a community who also don’t necessarily have engineering backgrounds, at the moment it is a very male oriented industry but being passionate and knowledgeable is something everyone has in common and can go a long way.

Why you think women are important to all aspects of this industry?

Women are important to all industries, if the engineering industry was to cut out all women there is a significant amount of people whose creativity and passion are being disregarded. The engineering industry thrives on the ingenuity of people who want to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, for long time women have had to make a choice between having a career or having a family and often face criticism for whichever choice they make. This is now being recognised as major failure for all industries, not just engineering.

Best Regards - Kathryn Vanes / Marketing Executive