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7 totally predictable hobbies civil engineers have

20 April 2022

For this year’s Stress Awareness Month, we’re highlighting the benefits of taking time to do something for yourself. In line with the community theme, we suggest you do it in a group!

7 totally predictable hobbies civil engineers have
Our members practise a variety of sports, from rugby and netball to yoga and tae kwan do. Image credit: Maxisport/Shutterstock

After the last couple of years we’ve had, it’s no surprise if most of us feel stressed often.

But as common as it may be, stress can seriously deteriorate our health.

It can cause headaches, dizziness, and even chest pain. It can make us forgetful and indecisive.

So let us suggest a simple, yet helpful way to ease your stress – take some time for yourself and do something you love!

We asked our members what their favourite hobbies are, and these are some of the most popular, and often striking, ones.

1. Performing

Microphone on stage
Image credit: Piotr P/Shutterstock

There’s no denying that our members have heaps of talent, in and out of the workplace.

Dr Priti Parikh and Cat Salvini could headline an ICE comedy festival as amateur stand-up comedians, while Dominic Cronin could entertain us in drag.

“[Performing in drag] allowed me to express my creativity outside engineering [and] created a positive attitude within myself when I started work,” says Dominic.

So, the things we do for fun can make us feel more positive, not only about our current situation, but ourselves, too!

2. Music

person playing guitar
Image credit: 4 pm production/Shutterstock

Auditions for the ICE musical might have to open soon – such is the talent among our members!

On vocal cords we have Claire Pallett, who chairs the Salford Choral Society and sings in the soprano section, as well as Meshi Taka, who’s a ‘massive karaoke fan’.

On bass, we have Muhammad Talha, who also composes his own music.

We have pianists, flautists and drummers, as well as sound engineers and live mixers, such as Musa PM Chunge.

We pretty much have all our bases covered!

3. Visual arts

painting materials including palette and brushes
Image credit: Steve J/Pexels

If we were to open an ICE art gallery, we might feature the work of Kaye Pollard and Sakthy Selvakumaran, who enjoy painting and making art.

Serena Gough’s photographs would also be included, hopefully incorporating some landscapes from the places she enjoys exploring.

And perhaps something by Cecilia Law, who explains that she views painting as ‘engineering in a different context’.

Nice way to connect her engineering talent to the things she does for fun!

4. Spending time in nature

woman taking photographs in nature
Image credit: David B/Pexels

Many of our members channel their inner David Attenborough by spending time in nature.

For example, Major Rob Ridley enjoys sailing and Paula McMahon enjoys gardening.

Paula also keeps a fishpond and chickens, and even spends time connecting to nature through scuba diving.

It seems the institution is full of nature lovers, who, like Aparna Jamgade, enjoy hiking and ‘exploring wonderful places’ or who are ‘dead into houseplants’, like Lara Lightfoot.

Last time we checked in with Lara, she had about 60 of them!

5. Practising sports

person practicing martial arts in a park
Image credit: Caleb O/Pexels

If you’re looking to start a sports club, you’ll likely find fellow ICE members to join you, as it seems we have a wide variety of athletes among us! Anyone for the ICE Olympics?

A few of our members enjoy cycling, which has the benefit of throwing fresh air into the mix.

Blessing Danha, for example, is a keen cyclist, and an active member of a north London female cycling club.

Others like the fresh air but prefer to go on foot.

Musa PM Chunge enjoys park runs and Joseph Marner says he occasionally goes on runs with colleagues over lunchtime, ‘which is a great way to take a break and see the city (and the civil engineering in it!)’.

Some are keen on adventure and endurance sports, while others prefer team sports such as rugby, football, cricket, hockey, and netball.

Others like to mix sports and music by dancing – salsa is a popular example – while others are fans of martial arts.

Kristina Dahyaraj practises Muay Thai and Joshua Macabuag practices jiu-jitsu when he’s not too busy with Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters (SARAID) training.

Bryn Noble’s even got a black belt in tae kwon do!

6. Making (and eating) food

baking muffins in a tray
Image credit: Oleg M/Pexels

Calling all foodies!

It seems we have enough keen cooks and bakers to run our own Master Chef or Bake Off.

All tastes are catered for, which means members like India Jean-Jacques, who’s ‘a massive vegan foodie’ can also take part.

To wash down all the tasty food, Paula McMahon could bring her homemade beer, which she makes with her husband and drinks in their own pub at home.

7. Volunteering

women volunteering at a clothing drive
Image credit: Dragana G/Shutterstock

Many of our members help raise awareness and money for a variety of charities.

For instance, Kayla Browne raised nearly £1,000 for Mind in 2021 by running 27 miles in 27 days to raise awareness about student mental health.

Similarly, Bianca Wheeler volunteered with a local group and the Samaritans charity to help provide mental health support and guidance to youth groups and across social media.

She's also been sky diving and mud running to raise money for various mental health charities, such as Young Minds.

An overwhelming majority of our members are also keen STEM ambassadors.

Serena Gough is “helping to inspire the next generation to study civil engineering”, an interest she shares with Ashley Best.

Impressively, Sakthy Selvakumaran developed the youth scheme ‘Construkt’ with Paul and Rommell from Serious About Youth, created with support from ICE.

The scheme supports young people from underrepresented groups to get experience in civil engineering and access to industry professionals.

Want to get involved?

Learn more about becoming an ICE STEM ambassador.

Why not check out what some of our greatest ambassadors are up to?

Find out more
  • Ana Bottle, digital content editor at ICE