What made you want to become a structural engineer?
I had a big passion for building things with Lego when I was growing up. I was always fascinated by how structures rise block by block from nothing to becoming a finished product.
What shaped your development?
I have always been one of those people who needs to see things to completion. My friends and family think I am a little obsessive and it impacts on most things in my life. My career is no exception. Once I completed my undergraduate, I felt I had to do a Masters, once that was completed, I felt I needed to get chartered and so I didn't stop until I did. I've never believed in giving up!
What role models have had a positive influence on you and your career?
There are too many to name. However, my closest family members certainly had the most influence on me. I come from a large family of many high achieving academics. My dad is a Professor and I've got three medical doctors, and one PhD doctor in the family. My dad has always been supportive and encouraging throughout my studies and career.
What has been your career highlight(s) so far?
Passing my IStructE exam and getting chartered.
Have you experienced any type of bias in during your career and if so, how were you able to handle it?
I've never experienced any first hand bias. However, I have had instances where people will look at me and are genuinely surprised that I have achieved what I've achieved. Especially after I passed the exam, I had so much envy from other colleagues who have tried several times and perhaps have failed. I've had comments such as 'how much did you pay the examiner to pass'? In those instances, one just needs to play the bigger person and not let it get to you. It's more painful for the ones saying it when you don't respond with any negativity or anger.
What three things would help structural engineering become truly inclusive for those in the BAME community?
I think these things are important:
This blog is part of a series written by leading Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) engineers. They share how they got into engineering, their career highlights, and their thoughts on how racial parity in engineering can be achieved.
- Encouraging young kids in the BAME community to go into structural engineering
- Encouraging employers to give equal opportunities
- Other professionals in the BAME community providing talks and seminars about their profession to the younger generation