Meet your Young Engineers Team
Your Young Engineers team is led by Jenni Doonan. She is supported by a team of teachers, assistants and family to deliver our classes.
All staff are PVG cleared and all teachers are Child First Aid Certified.
My name is Jenni Doonan and I run Young Engineers Edinburgh & West Lothian. I am a Chartered Engineer and have spent my career building, testing and operating satellites in space. I fell in love with science and engineering at school when I saw a space shuttle launch and went on to study engineering at university both in my Bachelors Degree in Computing & Electronics and in my Masters degree in Astronautics & Space Engineering.
In the early part of my career I worked in Satellite Operations and was part of the team that launched the first of a new set of weather satellites called Meteosat Second Generation. I worked on the power and thermal parts of the spacecraft making sure it was able to maintain its mission to take a new picture of Earth every 15 minutes. It was an amazing experience to be part of the team and to be in an environment where I could see a near live picture of our planet.
When I returned to the UK, I joined Airbus Defence and Space to work on the Galileo programme. This project was responsible for the development of Europe’s equivalent to the GPS satellites. It is by far the biggest European satellite programme in a generation, a truly international project with partners from all over Europe. My particular role was in the development and operation of the equipment we used to test the satellites. I spent a long time working in the manufacturing centre for the satellites, ensuring that every command we could send and every message we got back from the satellite was correctly defined and that we could configure the satellite to complete its mission.
More recently I moved in to Project Management and Business development working for companies such as Raytheon, HE Space and Clyde Space. I travelled extensively, represented companies at international conferences and gave talks about the latest space technology. Throughout my career I also volunteered as a STEM Ambassador, going into schools and talking to children about Engineering with the aim of inspiring and exciting them about the opportunities that come from studying STEM subjects. It is from this position that I decided it was time for something different and led me to starting Young Engineers Edinburgh & West Lothian.
My love of engineering has taken me across the world, it has given me a varied career and it has taught me how to solve problems. I love my subject and I love getting young people excited about it. My goal here at Young Engineers is to give every child the chance to have a positive and inspiring experience, to enjoy learning and to come out of each class full of ideas and excitement, proud of their achievements.
Our class teachers are below and we are joined by a team of assistants so that all public classes have a 1:8 ratio of staff to children
Bria joined us in March 2017 and has trained with Jenni as a Teacher. Bria has an HND in Business Management and is about to enter the final year of her Psychology degree where she is specialising in child psychology. She has ambitions to go on to study Educational Psychology after she completes her undergraduate degree. Bria works across Edinburgh and West Lothian.
Heather joined us in in January 2018 and is one of our class teachers.
She has a degree is psychology and is working towards her accountancy qualifications.
Danielle has a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from the University of Stirling. She has spent 10 years working at a software developer in Big Data and cloud based applications. With the arrival of her wee boy Danielle decided to make a career channge and joined Young Engineers in July 2017. She will work in schools cross Edinburgh and afterschool classes in Dunfermline.
Kathleen has spent the last 2 years working in after school clubs, and has particular experience in working with and supporting children with additional and special educational needs. Kathleen is currently part way through a degree in Primary Teaching at Edinburgh University. She is currently in her third year where she spends the full academic year in a school in Edinburgh as a trainee teacher.
John is Jenni’s dad, chief accountant and general helper.
John spent 40 years working in IT from the early days of computer science through to advanced programming within Financial Services and Retail. As a Senior Programme Manager with IBM, John spent over a decade as a trainer, working across the UK and Europe teaching Programme Management for IT professionals. As an Uncle to 13 and a recent Grandad, John loves spending time with young people and has rediscovered a love of Lego. He occasionally helps out at classes or events but is primarily working behind the scenes.
Louise is Jenni’s Mum, slightly OCD LEGO organiser and backup classroom assistant. She loves sorting the LEGO and regularly steals it from Jenni to make sure it is all set for upcoming classes. As the business has grown Louise has also worked as a class assistant and to cover sickness and holidays in the rest of the team.
Louise is a retired dentist who, along with John successfully ran her own business in Pumpherston until a few years ago.