Women in ACR: Meg Bradley of Vital Energi


20 March 2024

Meg Bradley is an intermediate electrical engineer (heat pump solutions) at Vital Energi.

What was your first job?

My first job was actually at an ice rink when I was still in high school. Even though this job was not in the industry and not what I aspired to do for a career, it started my journey into the world of work and I definitely learnt a lot from it.

I wanted to be an engineer from a very young age so after I finished my GCSEs in 2020, I started an engineering apprenticeship with a refrigeration system and heat pump manufacturer called Arctic Circle. I was on a level 3 engineering technicians’ course, specialising in electrical design. 

I was unfortunately made redundant in February 2023 when Arctic Circle went into administration. I then joined the new heat pump solutions team at Vital Energi in March 2023 and finished my apprenticeship and was awarded my NVQ in August 2023. 

What does your current role involve? 

As an intermediate electrical engineer in the heat pump solutions team at Vital Energi, I currently support the wider business with a large range of heat pump-related activities.

I have also started to get involved with some social value events; recently I visited a school and ran a few sessions on STEM, apprenticeships and heat pumps with some of my colleagues. 

However, I am still very new to the company and my role is still evolving. 

What attracted you to the industry? 

I joined as an apprentice in engineering and at the time I didn’t really know what industry I wanted to go into but looking at the opportunities available, I was intrigued by my first company and what they did. After joining the company I got a real experience of the industry and I really enjoyed it. I learned so much about the different technologies available for heat transfer systems, the various refrigerants available for use, carbon reduction goals and much more which enticed me to continue my career in the industry.

What excites/interests you about the industry?

I love how innovative and creative the industry is; there is constant development, with many new solutions helping to reduce carbon emissions while creating efficient heating a cooling systems. 

There is such an amazing diverse range of opportunities available in the industry, and so many areas where you can specialise. From electrical and mechanical engineering, thermodynamics, acoustics, technical management, technical services and so much more!

How would you like to see your career developing?

Content continues after advertisements

I haven’t been at Vital Energi for long but I already feel like a key part of the team. I hope I continue to flourish and keep expanding my skills and knowledge to become better at what I do. I am currently studying an HNC in building services to help expand my knowledge ,which I hope will impact my future positively. 

I would love to have more social engagement in future and help inspire more people, especially women, to join engineering and the ACR industry. I have personally gained so much from engineering and the ACR industry that I would love to encourage more people to join.

What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?

I have had a lot of great advice throughout my lifetime but something that has always stuck with me is the phrase “just try your best”. I have heard this from many people but mainly my lovely family, who have supported me through everything I have done and accomplished. Although sometimes a project, a task or a goal can be difficult and challenging, often the most important thing to remember is just to do your best because that is all you can do, and even if you fail at least you know you tried. This advice has helped me achieve so much in my career, including First Year Engineering Apprentice of the Year at Herefordshire Group Training Association, to my recent success as Project Engineer at the ACR & Heat Pump Trainee of the Year Awards. 

What do you see as the challenges facing the industry?

There is a lot of focus on how we can reduce carbon emissions using alternative sources of energy. I think one of the great challenges facing the industry currently is developing heat transfer technologies that are more efficient and that use natural refrigerants with a low global warming potential. The industry is facing significant change adopting these refrigerants with complex considerations due to their flammability, toxicity and higher working pressures. 

What would you say to other women who are considering coming into the ACR industry?

There are so many opportunities out there for everyone, so take advantage of them; consider every opportunity available and do what is best for you. There are no limits to what you can achieve.

And remember there is always help and support available. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am without the support and encouragement I have received from friends, family and colleagues. 

Strive to learn, achieve and support each other “Empowered women empower women”.

Is there a little-known fact about yourself that would surprise other people (secret skill, unusual hobby etc)?

I don’t think there is anything particularly surprising about me, but I enjoy ice-skating in my spare time. I started when I got my job at the ice rink at 15 and have been doing it ever since. I’m completely self-taught and even know some fun tricks!

I also spend a lot of time listening to music, especially Taylor Swift who is my favourite artist. As a hardworking and successful woman, I think she is such an inspiration. Her songs have always helped and encouraged me, and I can’t wait to see her on tour this year!

The other things I like to do in my spare time include playing rounders, drawing and spending time with my friends and family.