How it all started...
I grew up in Cheshire, and attended Altrincham Girls Grammar School where I diligently took my GCSEs and A-Levels. I had no idea which direction I wanted to go in life, but I knew I was a practical person who liked science and maths. I attended the Insight engineering taster course at Salford University and finally decided to undertake a BEng degree in civil engineering (although I still had no idea what a civil engineer actually did) which I studied at the University of Nottingham from 2004 until 2007.
I was awarded the Institution of Civil Engineers QUEST Scholarship to study at Nottingham University. I found the degree a challenge and was skeptical about my future in civil engineering, however as soon as I started my first job in construction, everything fell into place. I could finally apply the knowledge I had gained from my degree and enjoyed the fast paced environment where every day was different. There was a good mixture of working out on site and within the office and I found contracting suited my practical personality.
From 2011 to 2014 I obtained an MSc in civil engineering and construction management at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. I undertook this degree entirely in my own time through the distance learning route. It took hard work and discipline to gain a degree as well as working a full time job, however I found that working alongside studying helped me to apply what I was learning, and so I gained a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matters.
I worked in the UK until 2016 on several high profile and technical projects and programmes, such as Crossrail and Heathrow Airport before deciding to gain experience working abroad. I moved to Dubai and have been there ever since. Around this time I moved from engineering into project management and worked on a range of varied projects, such as a data centre and a manufacturing facility for aeroplane engines. In 2019 I moved to my current role at Expo 2020 Dubai.
As I have developed throughout my career, my interest in the construction industry has only grown. I am aware however, of the plethora of advice I wish I could have given my 18 year old self, when I was deciding which career choices to make. I speak to so many construction professionals who feel lucky to have 'fallen into construction by mistake' and like me, when they were younger, didn't understand anything about what a civil engineer or a project manager actually did.
I'm passionate now about raising the profile of this prestigious career and helping the younger generation make informed choices. As the global population rises, the world faces a huge challenge, now, more than ever, to build the future, to create more from less, and to do it sustainably. It's an exciting time to be in construction and I want to engage with young people and inspire the next generation to join us.