A finalist of the latest series of SAS: Who Dares Wins visited Selby College to talk to students about her experience on the show and her prosperous engineering career.
Faye Banks appeared on SAS: Who Dares Wins, which saw her and 19 other recruits take part in a six-week condensed version of the SAS selection process in the Vietnamese jungle. Faye talked to college staff and students about how the SAS: Who Dares Wins instructors Billy Billingham and his team of directing staff Jason Fox, Rudy Reyes and Chris Oliver put them through their paces. As a former Engineering student of Castleford College, Faye also spoke to students about her career as a female Engineer. This includes a number of leadership roles she has held at national and global companies such as Yorkshire Water, National Grid, Siemens, Carlsberg and Unilever.
In 2018, she was also commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to review the UK’s electricity standards. Encouraging the students to make the most out of their experiences, Faye said: “I’m extremely grateful to my lecturers who taught me at college, they recognised my talent in engineering and instilled the confidence in me to pursue my passion. You don’t get to be the best version of yourself on your own – learn from others and their experiences. Embrace every moment of your learning and you will see the returns.” When asked about what she attributes her successful career in engineering to, Faye said: “For me, the key to maintaining a successful career in engineering has been my ability to adapt to new surroundings and situations. Even when you are faced with change or adversity, being able to apply your skills to whatever environment you’re in is a significant advantage in a fast-paced industry like Engineering where technology and standards are constantly evolving.” Faye had a tough start in life after she was taken into care at the age of nine, moving between 50 different emergency placements in just two years. After leaving care, she trained to become an engineer and is currently working as a Director of Operations at Siemens. Faye is preparing to start a new role as the Director of EandM at Vital Energi in April and is working towards gaining her PhD in engineering.
During her time at Whitwood College, which is now known as Castleford College, Faye’s achievements shone out. She was voted Engineering Student of the Year and won the Principal’s Award at the Women in Science and Engineering ceremony. Faye was also presented with the Apprentice of the Year award and the Young Woman Engineer of the Year accolade in 2004. Faye added: “Now is an exciting and pivotal time to enter the engineering industry, not only because the UK’s Net Zero initiative is creating more jobs in the area, but because the sector is crying out for female engineers. When I first started, I was the only female working in a male-dominated industry, which presented many challenges that I had to overcome throughout my career in order for me to progress and succeed. Today, I’m incredibly proud to see that the industry is backing Engineers from all backgrounds and I would encourage any aspiring female Engineers to seize this opportunity,” Outside of work, Faye is an elite marathon runner and is also studying for her pilot’s license.