Farzana Hampshire FIMechE

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we speak to Operations Manager at SNC-Lavalin, Farzana Hampshire FIMechE about her career and why she decided to become a Fellow of the Institution.

Farzana Hampshire

After discovering her love for maths and physics at school, and through the help of a career’s advisor, Farzana decided she wanted to pursue a career in engineering. She wanted her career to provide substance, and to have an impact on society, so when it came to choosing her university degree, Farzana was not fazed by the lack of female representation in the industry; this, in fact, made her more determined to succeed.

Farzana achieved her MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, London and followed this up a few years’ later when she went on to study Rail Systems Engineering for her Masters at University of Sheffield. Most of Farzana’s career has been spent in the very specialist discipline of railway vehicle dynamics, carrying out consultancy work and becoming an expert in the areas of vehicle dynamics, gauging and the wheel-rail interface.

In 2021, Farzana took on the role as the Operations Manager of the Engineering Practice within the Transportation Division, initially as a secondment, but then as a permanent position. Her typical day at work normally includes reporting, networking, and engaging with her colleagues, and spearheading business improvements.

The Institution visited SNC-Lavalin a few years ago to speak to employees about professional registration and the opportunity to become a Fellow. Farzana attended the meeting and identified that she had the qualities to become a Fellow of the Institution. She realised that she had always put people who are Fellows on a pedestal, and it was only by breaking down the requirements that it was possible for her to see that she had what it took to be elected herself – “All Fellows are not the same and there are different reasons for why they deserve their status.”

Becoming a Fellow of the Institution was one of Farzana’s proudest career moments. For her application, she was sponsored by two female Fellows, Bridget Eickhoff, who gave Farzana her very first job and was also her IMechE Mentor, and Jenny Irish, her former job share partner. These two women are inspirational to Farzana, and she is proud to stand alongside them as Fellows.

Farzana speaks to us about how IMechE’s Young Members conferences gave her the opportunity to network with others and learn new knowledge and skills. She also gives thanks to the Railway Division in Derby for their local lectures – they have “been really useful in my career to discover more about particular projects in my industry.”

Find out more about becoming a Fellow

Become a member

Contact our Membership team if you have any questions about joining us:

  • Facts

    Name: Farzana Hampshire

    Role: Operations Manager, Engineering Practice, Transportation, SNC-Lavalin


    • MEng Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College, London

    • MSc Rail Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield

    Career history:

    • 1993: Joined BR Research as a Sponsored Student and returned after graduating to AEA Technology Rail as it became post-privatisation.

    • 2007: Joined Interfleet Technology which was bought by SNC-Lavalin. SNC-L then bought Atkins in the UK and my part of the business became part of the former Atkins organisation. 

    • 2017-2021: I led the Dynamics, Gauging & Testing Team at SNC-Lavalin in the Rail Consulting Practice (Transportation Division).

    • 2021: Operations Manager of the Engineering Practice within the Transportation Division.

    Interests outside engineering:

    I am a busy mum of two teenage boys and am married to a fellow railway engineer who works for a competitor. I enjoy running and taking walks in the beautiful countryside that I live close to. Over lockdown I built up a love of gardening and enjoy spending time in my greenhouse. I use much of the produce that I grow in cooking and baking.

    Proudest moments:

    • Winning the business case to bring the Vampire software package to SNC-L. Vampire is something that I have used throughout my career and had a very close association with, having previously worked for the team when it was owned by another organisation. It was a real coup to acquire this for SNC-L.
    • Becoming a finalist in the EveryWoman Transport & Logistics Awards in 2020 in the Above and Beyond category, jointly with Jenny Irish (my job share partner at the time).
    • Being successful as an Operations Manager with no prior experience and now sitting on the Leadership team of my Practice.
    • Having raised two boys who are intelligent, hardworking, and caring and who have a really balanced view of the world.
    • Becoming a Fellow of IMechE!


    Dan Bunfield

    Meet our Members

    Find out more about members of IMechE and how professional registration helps their careers