Secondary school 1990 to 1997 and Newcastle University 1998 to 2002
11 GCSE's, 5 A-levels and an 1st Class MEng in Civil Engineering. I am also CEng MICE
Self-employed so many clients, assessor, tutor
A sport-loving mother of three boys
I started my professional career as a technician with a company at 16 and they gave me a year out with experience and then sponsored me through Uni before offering me a job. I wanted to be a civil engineer but this work took me into the highways side of civil engineering. I worked hard to pass my chartership within three years of graduating.
I now work for myself as a self-employed consultant and also tutor on the Open University engineering degree and also assess NVQ’s for Leeds College of Building. I also wrote a new transport planning technician qualification in 2016 which is a national qualification, the first of its kind, being run by the college.
I like going mountain biking and running with my boys as well as lots of swimming in preparation for taking up triathlons this coming year.
A civil engineer working in transport planning and engineering
I am a transport planning and engineering consultant with over 20 years experience in this area having experience of promotion, planning and design of highway works for new developments, motorway schemes, signing, traffic signals and a lot of other areas that transport engineers are involved in.
I have mainly worked in design consultany with a small amount of time on construction sites, but I work with many other disciplinary.
When the government and local authorities decide on a strategy of development like retail, housing, offices etc etc this planning of land use has a huge impact on development and so it is essential that we try to deal with this transport impact. As transport planners and engineers we help to model the impact of the development and to try and reduce the impact by promoting sites that help people choose sustainable modes of transport. This is a really interesting area of engineering – How will people travel in the future?
My Typical Day: A full day of
Generally in my consultancy work I will be working on a few projects requiring transport assessments for planning permission. These might be housing, schools and recently new casinos, hotels etc in Europe.
I could be writing the report for this or I could be researching the evidence for this or creating models with which to test the impact of the predicted traffic on the local highway network.
Often I will need to go visit an area or site that I am looking at to get a very good idea of what is around the site. Often I do this by cycling if it a wider area and test out all the cycle infrastructure that is around.
I spend a lot of time working collaboratively with Architects, planners, solicitors, economists, surveyors…….all just part of the multi-disciplinary team that is needed to bring a site forward through planning and then to be built on site. So communication is very important!
My career path: I started as a technician at 16 and worked at weekends and in school holidays before taking a year off before university to get more work experience. I worked throoughout my degree and then went back to work for the company permanently. I was awarded my chartership by the ICE three years later and 11 years after leaving university I set up by myself as a self-employed consultant.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Friendly, proactive, efficient
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
A lot of my family are engineers, but that and just wanting to build big things!
What was your favourite subject at school?
Design Technology (!)
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
What has surprised you most about a career in Engineering?
Its not all hard hats and civil engineers do do design work (we are not achitects and work very closely as a complementary field) and we do design structures.