Bianca Wheeler

Bianca Wheeler

Construction engineer at Jacobs

Country United Kingdom

Specialisms Construction, project management, water

Career highlights

My working day

I work full-time for Jacobs on the Thames Tideway project in London, on the construction team of two of the central sites.

My role as a construction engineer consists of regular site visits, where I carry out quality, health and safety and progress inspections on the current works taking place, and reviewing the various documentation required for upcoming works on site. I work closely with our main works contractor, FLo, on various issues that arise, both on- and off-site, to come to an agreed solution.

It’s difficult to pin down a ‘typical’ day.

My career inspiration

At the age of 16, I completed a week of work experience on Crossrail at Tottenham Court Road in London. I vividly remember going down into the numerous underground floors of tunnels and connection passageways and being so fascinated and curious how this was all possible. This is what inspired me to become a civil engineer.

Bianca Wheeler in a tunnel

Bianca Wheeler in a tunnel

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I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also an advocate for promoting gender diversity in the field of engineering

Bianca Wheeler

Construction engineer, Jacobs

What I love about being a civil engineer (that I didn’t know before I became one)

Civil engineering is a career that can take you all around the world. I knew before that you could move to a different country to work, but never quite understood the large scale of opportunities and project roles that exist, particularly in the civil engineering industry.

The civil engineering myth I’d like to bust

You need to be good at physics to be a good civil engineer.

This is something I was told as a student going into my A levels. I quickly learned when studying civil engineering at college and university, along with having industry experience, that this was a complete myth.

Yes, principles that stem from physicists’ work and theories are present in engineering, especially when working in design, but this is more about structural mechanics rather than quantum physics and such that you learn in A level physics.

I’d recommend a career in civil engineering because

Civil engineering is such a diverse career, with so many different pathways and opportunities, in construction every day is different and problem-solving skills are a must have.

Civil engineering is linked closely with most aspects of our everyday lives and so demand for work in the sector is always present across the entire world.

The project, past or present, I wish I'd worked on

Gotthard Base Tunnel

What gets me out of bed every morning?

To me, civil engineering is all about improving the quality and efficiency of people’s everyday lives.

For example, the project I’m working on now is improving the water quality of the River Thames, a vital asset for the city of London, which is currently in a poor environmental state.

Knowing that the work I do and the sites I work on are all contributing factors to improving lives is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

My favourite projects

Thames Tideway

Education

A-Level Maths, Product Design

BTEC Level 3 Construction & the Built Environment

Level 3 NVQ – Civil Engineering Technician

Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship, Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, Kingston University, London

Work experience on Crossrail (during year 12)

1 year with the central engineering team on Tideway

2 years with the central construction team on Tideway

Other hobbies and interests

I volunteer with a local group and the Samaritans charity to help provide mental health support and guidance to youth groups and across social media. I’ve also been part of numerous charity activities, such as sky diving and Tough Mudder, to raise money for various mental health charities, such as Young Minds.

The most complex thing I’ve made out of Lego

I once made a castle out of Lego, but I couldn’t just stop at the building, I also created its own moat and bridge.

I want to become a civil engineer.

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