Above: (L-R) Jackie Heath, Lesley Paine, Katalin Andrasi, Juliet Handy, Catherine Poirrez

The Structural Awards will take place on Friday, bringing Tomorrow’s Engineers Week to a close. The Structural Awards are held annually to showcase outstanding engineering projects and celebrate the role of structural engineers as innovative, creative problem solvers and the guardians of public safety. 

This year, to mark Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (which shines a spotlight on engineers and engineering careers) the women engineers behind some of the Structural Awards shortlisted projects are saying why engineering is a great career choice for everyone –not just the boys.

Jackie Heath (46) - Ramboll

“Being an engineer is an endlessly challenging and varied career choice.  I like the fast pace, the fact that every project is different and that we work with so many interesting people. Ours is a problem solving industry that works in teams, so we need to be great communicators as well as good engineers. 

“We need to be a diverse group who can think creatively to overcome challenges. Whatever your strengths, there will be a role in engineering to enable you to develop and succeed. “

Jackie’s Structural Award shortlisted project is The Lighthouse Building.

Lesley Paine (61) - AECOM

“An engineer, irrespective of gender, needs to be able to inspire and direct others to create elegant structures via their understanding of mathematics, materials and 3D as a part of a collaborative team.”

Lesley’s Structural Award shortlisted project is Medina Airport.

Katalin Andrasi (42) - Mott Macdonald

“Female engineers are greatly under-represented in engineering – but the skills you need are not gender specific. The field of engineering is diverse, challenging and fun, so if problem-solving sounds exciting for you then go for it!”

Katalin’s Structural Award shortlisted project is Harlech Castle Footbridge.

Juliet Handy (32) - Atkins Global

“Engineering is a great career choice for anyone who is passionate about maths, physics, creative design and how things work and are put together. It helps to be curious about the world, how we can change it for the better and be interested in innovation. Every day and every challenge is different, so it never gets boring. 

“There are lots of paths into the industry, starting with graduates and apprentices, and some great companies out there with programmes in place to train you up. In no time at all, you could find yourself working on world-class international projects.

Juliet’s Structural Award shortlisted project is Birmingham New Street Station.

Catherine Poirrez (26) - Passage Projects:

“Structural engineering is not just doing calculations, it is being creative, proposing innovative and elegant solutions and working with a team of people of different backgrounds and skills. Being a man or a woman doesn't really make a difference - what makes a difference is the initiative it takes to get the structure built!”

Catherine’s Structural Award shortlisted project is The Future of Us Gridshell.

Discover more about Tomorrow’s Engineers Week.

More information about The Structural Awards.

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