Cat Salvini

Cat Salvini

MEng Graduate from Heriot-Watt University

Country United Kingdom

Specialisms Structural, materials

Career highlights

A day in my life

I have lectures on aspects of structural design and analysis and construction materials. I also spend a bit of time in the concrete laboratory running second year labs and carrying out my own research.

My career inspiration

I was supposed to be a lawyer, but my physics teacher encouraged me to join his STEM team and from there I got converted.

Cat wiining the inaugural pan-Scottish Emerging Engineers Award.

Cat wiining the inaugural pan-Scottish Emerging Engineers Award.


I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also ... a science communicator, theatre lighting technician, a world changer, and a Brownie Owl.

Cat Salvini

MEng Graduate, Heriot-Watt University

What I love about being a civil engineer (that I didn’t know before I became one)

I had no idea how creative civil engineering was until I got to university and my first project was to build a pasta bridge. .

The civil engineering myth I’d like to bust

In reality, there’s a whole range of people who are civil engineers and the diversity leads to better design.

I’d recommend a career in civil engineering because

… it’s surprising – in a good way! And you get to make a tangible difference to people’s lives.

The project, past or present, I wish I'd worked on

I wish I’d worked on the original London sewer system – it was the first time Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) was used on a project and reports say that a lot of people hoped it would fail. Look at OPC now!

What gets me out of bed every morning?

Knowing that what I work on can improve people’s lives – even though they probably won’t realise.

How civil engineering has helped me overcome personal hurdles

The ICE QUEST Scholarship has made university more affordable.


I completed my Highers and Advanced Highers at a Scottish nonselective state-funded high school and graduated with an MEng degree from Heriot-Watt University in 2019.

My hobbies

I do professional theatre lighting design, play clarinet, and do amateur stand-up comedy.

The most complex thing I’ve made out of Lego

I was involved in building the ICE Lego bridge when it came to Glasgow. That took a team of 15, four hours, and some of the pieces were already built!

I want to become a civil engineer.

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