Kate Rouse, Lead Engineer, “A diverse team enables more innovation and creativity”

By Volta Trucks

Kate Rouse joined the engineering team in June 2022 as a Lead  Engineer of Thermal Integration. Kate is doing her part in breaking the gender stereotypes in the engineering sector. In this blog post, she reflects on her time as a female engineer so far, and on the reasons why she chose to join Volta Trucks.


Why did you choose to join Volta Trucks?

I was motivated to join Volta Trucks because I heard about the fast pace development and empowering management style.


How was your first week at Volta Trucks?

My first week at Volta trucks was interesting – It included getting to go to MIRA, our proving and testing ground, to meet some of the team. There, I was able to see the trucks for the first time was able to have a few laps of the proving ground.

I also had my first on-boarding “accelerator” session, which is a programme new starters are put on that provides an insight to Volta Trucks, whilst teaching valuable team skills and enables you to meet other people from across different functions within the company.


What’s different about working in a start up?

I’ve already found working at a start up to be quite different from large OEMs, there is definitely a greater sense of team and responsibility. I also like that the pace is quicker with less time-heavy processes to slow you down, but with the same focus on delivering performance and quality.


What does your role entail day-to-day?

This one is a little difficult as I’m so early on in my journey, so I’m still figuring this out myself. However, my role will be to look at thermal in the vehicle integration team.

This involves developing test plans and procedures to thermally sign off the vehicle as a whole, considering the cab conditions for the driver, thermal management of the powertrain system and energy management to ensure efficiency. Following this, I will then be conducting the testing of the Design Verification prototype vehicles in varying ambient temperatures to ensure the performance requirements and targets are met.


How do you find working in a predominantly male-sector?

At times, working in a predominately male sector can feel intimidating, but I’m pleased to say in the last few years I haven’t noticed a difference in the workplace of how women are treated, which is a really positive movement and it makes it great environment to work in.

From my experience, I’ve seen that women can sometimes bring a different view point to dealing with problems or often suggest alternative ideas. I believe that this shows that employing people across different genders and backgrounds enables the team to be more innovative and creative when it comes to tackling engineering challenges.


What advice would you offer other women looking to get into engineering?

Absolutely do it! I feel I have had such a rewarding career already from working in engineering, I’ve been lucky enough to travel with my previous jobs and there is such a sense of accomplishment when challenges are overcome and the product is launched.


What makes you feel good about the work you do?

Knowing that you are part of a bigger picture and team that is going to deliver a product which is the first of its kind provides a real sense of achievement. Safer and cleaner cities benefit everyone, so it’s rewarding to know you are contributing.


About the header image: In this picture,  Kate at the top of Snowdon in Wales last year, enjoying being out in the open air.


If you would like to find out more about Volta Trucks and our mission to make cities safer and more sustainable, you can see where we are on our journey by clicking here. If you are interested in joining the team, please take a look at current openings we have available here.