Winter Warmer – 24th November 2011

Hi all

We’re delighted to announce that our next dinner will be at Isaacs on the Plymouth University campus from 19.00-22.00. Tickets cost £7.50 in advance and include a drink and a delicious meal – pay us through Paypal on or email us and we’ll send you a payment request.

More details below. . . .


Second speaker

Laura is currently a final phase (3rd Year) apprentice for the Ministry of Defence working in the Salvage and Marine Operations division. During her first year she attended City College Plymouth where she gained an NVQ2 Welding and Fabrication. Laura also achieved a BTEC NC in Engineering during this time. In her second year she undertook a HNC in Engineering at Cornwall College Saltash which has recently been completed. Laura is currently finishing an NVQ3 in Engineering Maintenance as well as preparing for a full time post within the MoD when her apprenticeship finishes in September next year.

Our first speaker is . . .

Karen Friendship – Managing Director, Aldermans

Formed in 1969 Alderman Tooling remains a family owned business. It provides precision metalwork solutions to all industry sectors including marine, retail, IT and other industrial organisations. Their capabilities include a full service from press tool design to parts production and sheet metal work, including CNC punching, laser and plasma profiling. They also undertake all types of welding including stainless steel and aluminium; spot and stud welding and brazing.
They also provide a range of products and services from pressed metal components through to complete retail systems involving stainless, plated and painted display fixtures.

Karen strengths were the STEM subjects at school and is a graduate of Civil Engineering from Bristol University. She was invited to join the family business in 1998 (daughter of founder Bill Alderman) and she now runs a 50 strong workforce from their factory in Plymouth and is passionate about training and the nurturing of future skills in the engineering sector.

As a STEM Ambassador and Chair of a couple of male dominated Manufacturing Networks, Karen is no stranger to the world of manufacturing, metal-bashing and generally being in the minority!

Summer BBQ at the National Marine Aquarium

We’re pleased to announce the third Plymouth Girl Geek Dinner is at the National Marine Aquarium at 19.00 on Wednesday 20th July (which is so nearly π day!).

As ever, we have a fantastic line-up of speakers covering a wide variety of disciplines:

Vikki Cheung has always had a passion for the outdoors and the natural environment. She was a research scientist in marine ecotoxicology for some years, gaining a PhD at Plymouth University whilst working full-time as a research assistant. She now is mum of two, and works with her husband, Conrad Humphreys, a professional yachtsman. In 2007, between them they launched “The Blue Climate and Oceans Project” through which they have created a community that cares for and protects the natural environment.

Trish Johnson is a chartered engineer with an established career in the South West. She first joined Parkman in 1988 as a graduate and after becoming chartered in 1992 she became Principal Engineer, running the bridges office in Bristol. After completing her Masters in Engineering Management she became Regional Manager (SW & Wales) for Rethinking Construction/Constructing Excellence in 2001.  In 2003, she returned to her former employer, now Mouchel, as Business Excellence Director for Highways and Transportation and became Commission Director in the Trowbridge office in 2008 after a period as Divisional Director in Bristol.  Although her background is generally bridges and highways, she has been very involved with innovation and performance monitoring and was Regional Champion for innovation within the South West during her time with Mouchel.

Trish sees her priorities as raising the profile of Civil Engineering in the region particularly with Under 19s, the engineers of the future; ensuring effective knowledge transfer occurs in the region within members and associated bodies through seminars and special interest groups and to ensure the regional voice of engineering is heard at national level.

Elinor Turnbull graduated from Plymouth University in 2005 with BSc(Hons) Marine Navigation.  Since then she has worked full time in the marine industry at the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, a Trading Fund of the Ministry of Defence, and as a result  has been fortunate enough to travel all over the world, including South Africa, Canada and Europe.   The marine industry offers a diverse and challenging career to anyone ready to take up the challenge – the opportunities are there for the taking.  Elinor will be talking about why she decided to study Marine Navigation at Plymouth, how she got there, and where her career has taken her since.

As if that wasn’t enough, there will be our normal fantastic crowd of girl geeks, a raffle with some fantastic prizes from local businesses, a tour of the aquarium and a delicious BBQ.

Tickets cost £11 in advance (or £12 on the door) – pay us through Paypal on or email us and we’ll send you a payment request.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Second Dinner!

We’re super excited about our second Plymouth Girl Geek Dinner on 8th March at Jurys Inn. It’s going to be even bigger and better than our first one with more speakers, girl geeks and fun.

Our speakers include:

  • Stacey Clifford who is a civil engineer working for Kier Construction and who also works on a voluntary basis for Engineers Without Borders. She will bring along photos and lots of interesting stories to tell of her inspiring journey – from a placement in Morocco to a building project in Malawi. Stacey wanted to become an accountant until she attended a similar event to this, so she is delighted to be able to share her experiences with our group.
  • Jing Cai’s strengths were in maths when she was young and this led her to win regional prizes (Guizhou Province, China) before gaining a degree in Telecommunications at the Civil Aviation University of China.  Jing’s adventures began when she applied for a place at the University of Plymouth for a MRes in Satellite Communications, which led to a PhD in Information & Coding Theory.  Her professional career started in 2007 with a KTP partnership with Bombardier to develop a new generation track circuit and she hasn’t looked back since!
  • Laura Hobb’s degree was in Marine Biology & Oceanography at the University of Plymouth and she loved every minute of it; appreciating the beauty and diversity of the South West as well as travelling to a research centre in Sweden.   When she finished she was awarded a grant from the Roland Levinsky Memorial Fund which assisted her to take part in an educational expedition to Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic.  Laura’s presentation will be about her expedition and her subsequent employment promoting an organisation called Education Through Expedition, which encourages young people to interact with explorers in a practical and inspiring way.

To book your place, please visit our shop (this is a secure website) or email us on

We look forward to seeing you there.

Inaugral Dinner

We’re all getting very excited here about our first dinner, which is sponsored by the Faculty of Science and  Technology at the University of Plymouth. It’s going to be a deluxe four-course meal cooked and served by hospitality students at the University, and is a fantastic excuse to test out Christmas party dresses!

Our guest speakers include Dr Shirley Atkinson, Lecturer in Information Systems, University of Plymouth,  and Emily Nicholls, winner of the EDT Year in Industry prize 2010.

Girl Geeks

There's a lot of us!!


Our specially created geek pudding

Calling all Girl Geeks

Hello Plymouth

Welcome to the brand new blog for the brand new Girl Geek Dinners in Plymouth!

In Plymouth , we want to extend Girl Geek Dinners of all ages and disciplines, and to show how fantastic it can be when a group of dedicated, passionate, enthusiastic and intelligent women get together to talk about all things geeky.