Heather Dalgarno works as a Project Engineering Manager (PEM) for the software and systems of the European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk2) based on the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) currently being designed and built by Leonardo. This project sees Italy and the UK joining forces to develop one of the most advanced technologies in the world. Led by the Leonardo radar capability in Edinburgh, Heather is part of an international team, which also includes a team of engineers from the plant in Nerviano (Milan), working on a radar to be installed on Royal Air Force aircraft, greatly increasing their capability and performance.
With a PhD in Adaptive Optics for Astronomy, Metrology and Medical Applications from Heriot-Watt University and six years’ experience in academic research, Heather has a STEM background of the highest level. She then took a “leap” into the world of industry and towards a new profession and sector – that of radars – which was largely unfamiliar to her at the time. Within the Company, she was helped and supported by her colleagues, many of whom also came from the world of academic research. “It didn’t take long to realise that my skills, as a physicist and researcher, were highly transferable […] and so I found myself working on the algorithms and development models of a radar simulator.”
Now in her tenth year in the Group, Heather originally chose Leonardo “for the opportunity to work with exciting technology, and to make a positive difference in our mission to protect our skies and our pilots”.
One of her most important experiences within the Company was spent leading a combined team of Systems and Software engineers developing the Tracking Software for a range of fire-control Radar projects: “it was a real privilege”.
Heather is a passionate supporter of improving inclusion and equal opportunities, and is delighted to be working in a company that takes this so seriously. She contributes personally to the culture of sustainability, participating in projects and initiatives that support different communities, in the belief that “particularly within the technology sector [...] diversity is proven to grow innovation”.