Headshot of Principal Engineer Kirsty McNeil

Since as early as A level, Principal Engineer Kirsty McNeil knew she wanted a career in engineering. She has now been a valued colleague at Atmos for over 11 years so we sat down with her to hear what she has to say about her experience working for the world’s leading pipeline leak detection, simulation and theft detection solutions provider.

In this blog, Kirsty answers questions about:

What was your journey to Atmos?

I left school with the assumption that I was going to study something like law or literature, so I picked a range of A levels to keep my options open. But when I got to college, I realized maths and science were my strong suit.

I started to wonder what I could do in a career with maths and science A levels and stumbled across chemical engineering. After graduating with a chemical engineering degree, I started looking for jobs. I came across a role at Atmos and never left!

What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?


I have had quick progression at Atmos and I have been the technical lead on various complex projects around the world that have utilized almost all the products that Atmos offers. For these projects, I have received positive feedback from the customers that I have worked with.


I recently visited my 50th country, and I am looking forward to seeing even more of the world!

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

Every day is usually different, but typically I check my emails first thing and identify if there are any new urgent actions that need addressing. Then I review my to-do lists, current project statuses and plan my actions for the day.

In addition to performing my own tasks, my day also usually involves supporting the engineers with any technical issues they may have encountered and offering advice and suggestions on any project actions that they require this support for.

My main project now is in Kenya, which is exciting. We’re deploying a system on numerous pipelines there and it’s quite a complex system.

What three words describe your role at Atmos?

Challenging, rewarding and varied.

If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?

I’m pretty happy where I am so I have not really thought about another job.

What would you like to achieve in the next five years at Atmos?

I just want to keep learning and growing. At Atmos, there is always new technology being developed which offers new challenges.

What are your biggest professional challenges?

The industry is always changing with new technology and industry standards so we always need to be sure we are constantly learning and adapting to change.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

Throughout my career there have been many people that have offered me guidance and insights that have helped me along the way.

If you could go back and speak with the 16-year-old you, what would you tell yourself?

Don’t be afraid to do something different just because nobody else is doing it.

A selfie of Principal Engineer Kirsty McNeil on a site visitYou can lose out on good opportunities if you rely on other people to give you courage to do something. I think it's important to remember that it doesn't matter if no one else wants to do something. If it's something you want to do, then go for it!

What do you like most about your job?

I like how it varies so much. When we deliver our projects, we're involved in every aspect of it, so we're not always focusing on one specific thing. We're always following a project through from start to finish and different skills are required through each stage.

I like the fact that there's a lot of customer interaction too. You learn a lot from the different customers that we work with.

The travel aspect has always been a big highlight for me too. I enjoy visiting sites in different locations around the world. There’s just as much to learn outside out of the office during these visits.

What advice would you give to recent new entrants?

You're not expected to know everything when you first start, so don't be afraid to ask questions.

Everyone at Atmos is always super helpful and everyone's willing to support you, so don't be afraid to reach out if you need help.

What’s your favorite blog or website you follow?

It is always useful to follow LinkedIn to keep informed of the industry, as well as the IET site.

What is your favorite place to visit?

I love traveling to different places and experiencing new things. I've been very fortunate in my career to have visited a lot of places and I also travel a lot in my free time as well.

Some of my favorite experiences include completing the hike to Everest Base Camp, camping in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, snorkeling with Orcas in the Norwegian Sea, and seeing the ancient sites in Egypt.

A photo of Principal Engineer Kirsty McNeil near Everest Base Camp An image of Principal Engineer Kirsty McNeil visiting Egypt

For work, one of my favorite places that I've been to would probably be Kenya, which is my most recent visit. I have visited a few times now for various stages throughout the project and I have been to various places across the country.

When travelling for work, you often get taken outside the main tourist areas and you see more rural parts of a country. During my visits I had the opportunity to take a game drive through Nairobi National Park and spend some time in Mombasa, which is a beautiful coastal city by the Indian Ocean.

A photo of a giraffe on Principal Engineer Kirsty McNeil's visit to Kenya A photo overlooking the Indian Ocean in Mombasa, taken by Principal Engineer during a site visit