Vera Dragoi - Not to be underestimated

Blessed with a logical mind, Vera Dragoi always had a love for maths and science, which led her from school to the polytechnic university in Bucharest where she achieved fantastic grades. In fact, her grades were so good that she found herself able to choose an employer straight out of college when a series of businesses came in to offer roles to the best students.

Vera opted to go straight into the nuclear power industry, as she felt it would be both interesting and challenging. Staying for three years, Vera then began working in construction before making a move into the oil and gas industry after a client recognised her skills and offered to hire her. Now working freelance, taking on projects around the world, Vera has undertaken work including welding NDT, plant inspection and quality assurance and control.

When it comes to training, Vera has certainly put in the work – achieving an impressive 17 qualifications so far. Explaining that she feels it is important to stay up to date with the latest trends and information in her chosen field, Vera revealed that she studied her CSWIP Welding Inspector course at TWI Indonesia - since she was working in the area at the time.

Choosing to continue her studies with TWI, Vera came to the Cambridge to study her advanced courses, staying on site and paying for her own training. She studied for her ToFD Level 2 at TWI as “the best is here,” adding that she knew about the skills and competencies of TWI and was impressed with the facilities and the knowledge of the lecturers, who she described as being very “open to teach” and pass on their know-how. Vera was also keen to express the advantages of staying on site, saying it cut down on travel while allowing her to interact and network with other students.

Having passed her ToFD Level 2, Vera revealed that she is keen to return to TWI to study for her next advanced course, PAUT Level 2. She also spoke about her experience as a female in what is traditionally a male-dominated field. While Vera noted that she has consistently been the only woman on all the courses she has attended, she explained that she didn’t see any real difference and that the most important thing was making sure she stays up-to-date with her knowledge and lets her experience speak for itself.

Staying prepared gives Vera the confidence to do her job as well, if not better, than anyone and, having managed some 50 inspectors on jobs in the past, it is clear that she is an inspiration to anyone in the industry – male or female!

Stephen Payne