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In this section of The Structural Engineer we examine the careers, motivations and opinions of individuals across the structural engineering profession - from rising stars to the great and good.

Articles in this series

The Structural Engineer

Expedition Engineering director Julia Ratcliffe has travelled the globe creating elegant and practical structures in places and situations as diverse as New York and post tsunami Thailand. Her latest challenge is leading the team designing the Institution’s new headquarters building. Jackie Whitelaw went to meet her in the first of a new series of profiles.

Publish Date - 3 February 2014

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Skyscraper expert John Viise can trace his structural engineering ancestry back to pioneers in the field. But the American counsels modern engineers to 'work the problem' for themselves rather than rely too much on computers. During a recent trip to the UK, he spoke to Jackie Whitelaw.

Publish Date - 1 April 2014

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Roma Agrawal is using her rarity as a young, female engineer to front campaigns on television, in the papers and on billboards that raise the profile of an engineering career. More professionals should do the same, she tells Jackie Whitelaw.

Publish Date - 29 May 2014

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Student Sally Jones put in the effort to organise to undertake a year of her study in the United States. She tells Jackie Whitelaw it was one of the best decisions she’s made so far.

Publish Date - 28 July 2014

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

"My career has been all about good fortune" says Arup Deputy Chairman Tristram Carfrae. From early years assisting mercurial genius Peter Rice to acting as engineer for man-of-the-moment Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge in London, he has worked with the greats of engineering and architecture. Now Carfrae, the designer of the stunning Beijing Olympic Aquatic Centre, is confirmed as one too, as the 2014 recipient of the Institution's Gold Medal.

Publish Date - 1 October 2014

Author – Jackie Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

BIM is presenting daily opportunities and challenges to structural engineers, rather like the architects they work with. So it should be no surprise to find that one of the key people behind the BIM revolution is, himself, an architect. Jackie Whitelaw talks to Autodesk Vice President, Phil Bernstein, who helped introduce BIM to the world.

Publish Date - 27 November 2014

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Last year’s winner of the Institution’s Young Structural Engineering Professional Award, Kayin Dawoodi, has been promoted to senior engineer by his employer Arup and is a founding trustee of the UK branch of charity Bridges to Prosperity.

Publish Date - 1 February 2015

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Atelier One’s Christopher Matthews, 26, was runner up in the 2014 Young Structural Engineering Professional Award with a fascinating presentation on the analysis for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. His work allowed stagers to use the existing stadium roof for spectacular flying scenic displays. He tells Jackie Whitelaw about his career so far.

Publish Date - 1 February 2015

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Commended in the 2014 Young Structural Engineering Professional Award was 27-year-old Ed Hollis of StructureMode, who entered his work on an acrylic pyramid art installation called Lûz.

Publish Date - 1 February 2015

Author – N/A

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Kamran Moazami is the designer of the “greatest building in the world” – The Shard – but he also runs WSP’s UK structures division. He talks to Jackie Whitelaw about the power of a global community and how great buildings are good business.

Publish Date - 1 April 2015

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

From Pink Floyd to the London 2012 Olympic ceremonies, design studio Atelier One has carved a niche providing engineering for events, alongside experimental buildings and modern art. Jackie Whitelaw talks to the structural engineers who head the team – Neil Thomas and Aran Chadwick.

Publish Date - 1 June 2015

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Craig Beresford has had a very successful career in the high-pressure world of property and he’s done it by recognising the value of getting on with people and enjoying their company. Jackie Whitelaw went to meet the friendly man who is managing director of structures for Waterman and chief operating officer of its property business.

Publish Date - 31 July 2015

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

At just 27, Claire Gott has set up a charity, is on the ICE Council and a Green Construction Board working group, and is a design manager for one of the great challenges of the age in the UK – the redevelopment of London Bridge Station. Oh, and she has an MBE. Jackie Whitelaw went to meet WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff ’s engineering dynamo.

Publish Date - 1 October 2015

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

After 16 years in the Army, Major Nick Francis is making the move into civilian engineering. What have been the highlights of his career so far and what has he learned in the military that will help his new employer? Jackie Whitelaw reports.

Publish Date - 1 December 2015

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

After years designing for cold climates, first with the multiple award-winning Halley VI ice station and then Spartak Moscow’s Otkritie Arena football stadium, AECOM’s head of sports engineering, Peter Ayres, is now bringing some of his cool to the extreme heat of Qatar to create a chilled stadium for the 2022 World Cup. He talks to Jackie Whitelaw.

Publish Date - 1 February 2016

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Martin Knight is one of the UK’s leading bridge architects and has spent 20 years working with engineers on what are the most expressive of structures. What has he learned? He tells Jackie Whitelaw.

Publish Date - 1 April 2016

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Anne Fuller has been an Institution chief examiner, has designed challenging buildings all over the UK, and is now director of Capita’s civil and structural engineering division in the North. She discusses her career with Jackie Whitelaw and wonders whether talking to girls at school is really all we have in our armoury in the battle to increase diversity in the profession.

Publish Date - 1 June 2016

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Award-winning structural engineer Chris Wise has always challenged convention and has no plans to stop. In his sights currently are multiple targets, including the whole structural engineering profession, its businesses and his own future.

Publish Date - 1 August 2016

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

From earth bags to tensegrity pavilions, in his practice – StructureMode – engineer Geoff Morrow has created a place where creativity and innovation are paramount.

Publish Date - 3 October 2016

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Irish engineer Victoria Janssens has recently applied her talents in Hong Kong on the Zaha Hadid-designed hotel tower at the City of Dreams, Macau, and on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta – all thanks to a decision to risk working overseas. She talks to Jackie Whitelaw.

Publish Date - 1 December 2016

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Paul Fast and his 2016 Institution Supreme Award-winning fi rm, Fast + Epp, are blazing a trail when it comes to using timber in building design. He talks to Jackie Whitelaw about the risks and rewards of forging new paths.

Publish Date - 1 February 2017

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Technology will free up structural engineers to be more creative and challenge standardisation as the route to efficiency, says AECOM Director for Buildings and Places, Jon Leach, who is also the new chair of the Institution of Structural Engineers Panel on Digital Workflows and Computational Design.

Publish Date - 3 April 2017

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Ingrid Chauvet is crackling with energy and has ambitions for her eight-strong practice, RISE Structural Engineers, to grow to be as large as Arup. Jackie Whitelaw wouldn’t bet against her.

Publish Date - 1 June 2017

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Francis Archer has designed extraordinary structures, not all of them built. The engineer for London’s Garden Bridge talks to Jackie Whitelaw about how creativity is never wasted.

Publish Date - 1 August 2017

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Young structural engineers want variety, flexibility, recognition and challenge in their early careers. But above all they are eager to become chartered, as Jackie Whitelaw found out when she spoke to three members of the Institution’s Young Members’ Panel.

Publish Date - 2 October 2017

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Engineer for the award-winning British Airways i360 observation tower in Brighton, Dr John Roberts, is 70 this year and has no plans to stop work. Jackie Whitelaw talked to a man who intends to be the oldest engineer at his employer, Jacobs, and still turning out ground-breaking designs.

Publish Date - 1 February 2018

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Russian engineer Gennady Vasilchenko-Malishev grew up surrounded by scientists looking to break boundaries. What he learned from that experience has informed his career as one of the world’s leading experts in structural glass design. Interview by Jackie Whitelaw.

Publish Date - 1 April 2018

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Marelize Visser is managing to combine running her own successful South African consultancy with a growing role in the Institution. Doing one without the other would not have been an option. Interview by Jackie Whitelaw.

Publish Date - 1 June 2018

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Hanif Kara is a world-class structural engineer who is more appreciated by those outside his profession than those within it; or that, at least, is how he feels. Jackie Whitelaw talks to a man who wonders if he is too different to be embraced by the establishment.

Publish Date - 1 August 2018

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Sarah Williamson came to structural engineering a few years later than most, but since starting her career she has forged her way to being one of the key minds responsible for delivery of the multibillion-pound main civils work contract at Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. Jackie Whitelaw went to meet her.

Publish Date - 1 October 2018

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

One of Will Arnold’s highlights after being named Young Structural Engineering Professional of the Year was judging the Structural Awards. But he had to do that from Rwanda, as he explained to Jackie Whitelaw.

Publish Date - 1 February 2019

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

£180 spent on a promotional postcard helped Steve Webb and Andy Yates create a business with a £5M turnover and offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Dubai.

Publish Date - 1 April 2019

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

From an airport roof, to tidal stream power, to residential towers, Laura Legnani has never been afraid of having to learn something new.

Publish Date - 1 June 2019

Author – J. Whitelaw

Price – Free