ExpertiseDesign, Digital, Structural
Working in India on water structure projects
Working onsite at a nuclear power construction site
Monitoring offshore windfarms
A day in my life
My day involves communicating with colleagues, completing design calculations, and solving design challenges.
Engineering is very collaborative, and we can all bring something useful to the table.
Which individual project or person inspired you to become a civil engineer?
My sister is also a civil engineer.
I didn’t know other civil engineers growing up, so she really showed me the variety of the degree.
We've taken really different career paths within civil engineering as she's a contractor and I'm a design consultant. I feel we inspire each other to keep growing in our own fields.
We asked Jennifer…
I would recommend a career in civil engineering because...
...you get to make a difference in society. I enjoy problem solving and working in a team environment which I get to do everyday.
What’s the biggest/most complex thing you’ve made out of Lego? How long did it take you?
No idea. I used to like Lego as a child. But I feel Lego is quite stereotypical for engineers.
As a child I also enjoyed playing with dolls and was very much a 'girly girl' and yet I've still achieved success in the engineering world.
Complete this phrase: I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also...
a singer, piano player, baker, rollerblader, netballer and yoga enthusiast.
What about being a civil engineer gets you out of bed each morning?
Knowing that I will learn something new each day.
What’s one great thing that you love about civil engineering that you didn’t know until you started working in the industry?
How I could teach older more knowledgeable colleagues about digital engineering. That engineering is very collaborative, and we can all bring something useful to the table.
Which civil engineering project (past or present) do you wish you’d worked on?
I would've loved to be around at a time before cranes were invented to see how construction was completed, for example, the Pyramids in Egypt.
However, I'm glad I work at a time when we have health and safety legislation and technology to be able to build structures safely.
Name one civil engineering myth you’d like to bust.
I would love to be able to say that I'm an engineer and not get a surprised look because I'm female.
I want it to be the norm because I'm inspired by all my female colleagues and so I don't see why it should be surprising that we're engineers.
Has civil engineering helped you overcome any personal hurdles/difficulties?
While at university, my mum had cancer. It was hard going back to uni with the uncertainty of how she would be at the next holiday. I made use of the pastoral team who were brilliant, and I took up piano lessons as a form of self-care.
Jennifer's career path
- MEng in Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield
- Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering - Create the Trophy competition winner
- ICE QUEST scholar