Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Royal Naval Reservist STEM Ambassador Inspires The Next Generation of Engineers

8 November 2023
Royal Naval Reservist Lieutenant Commander Ellen Harrison is a STEM Ambassador and has been inspiring the next generation of engineers.

STEM is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, a group of distinct yet related disciplines. Ellen is employed as the Senior Quality Manager at Boeing Defence UK. She is also the head of the Boeing UK STEM Ambassador network.
Ellen has recently taken the post of Executive Officer HMS PEGASUS. She joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) in 1990 as an Aircraft Engineering Mechanic before transitioning to the Royal Navy in 1993. Apart from a period with 707 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), Ellen spent most of her career as a maintenance engineer on the Sea Harrier aircraft, serving with 899 NAS, 801 NAS and 800 NAS at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton and 20(R) Squadron at RAF Wittering.

Ellen’s career also included being the Weapons and Ejection seat instructor in the Engineering Training Section and an electrical supervisor in the Sea Harrier Aircraft Maintenance Group at RNAS Yeovilton and as an Air Engineering Career Course Instructor at Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival School (RNAESS), HMS SULTAN.

Ellen passed out of Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 2008 as the first Woman Aviation Support Officer where she went on to serve as Survival Equipment Training Officer at RNAESS, Aircraft Control Room Officer on HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, International Defence Training at EXCELLENT and her final assignment as Executive Officer (XO) of the School of Flight Deck Operations (SFDO) at RNAS CULDROSE.


After leaving service with the Regular Royal Navy in 2015, Ellen took up a position as a Quality Engineer at Boeing Defence UK. She also continued her service in the Royal Naval Reserve alongside her day job where she was promoted in 2020 as the Senior Quality Manager at Boeing Defence UK. Her RNR role is as the Assistant Quality Manager for 1710 NAS, assisting the Quality System Co-ordinator and Quality Manager to maintain the Quality Management System and ISO9001 certificate as well as other Continuous Improvement initiatives.
Ellen heads up the Boeing UK STEM Ambassador network, which has burgeoned from just 8 volunteers a year ago to an impressive 180 volunteers today. The STEM Ambassadors volunteer at local schools and colleges to inspire the next generation into STEM roles. Ellen is also a member of STEM Learning and volunteers for STEM events in her own time.
Ellen said, “It is vital that STEM ambassadors pass on their knowledge and experience to those at the beginning of their career to inspire the next generation of engineers”.
Recently shortlisted as a finalist in the Women in Defence Awards, Ellen is in the Champion for Maximising Talent Category. We wish her luck in the final on 29th November.


Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.