Imogen Graves

Imogen Graves

Assistant Design Manager at LM-JV, Enabling Works North Contract for HS2

Country United Kingdom

Specialisms Design, construction, project management

Career highlights

A day in my life

A day in the life of Imogen has to start with coffee, a cup at home and another once I get into the office. I’m office-based at the moment, but spend a lot of time across a couple of different offices, as my job is about interface, communicating our designs, requirements and restrictions to the other people on the contract.

A lot of my time is spent in meetings, but the general idea of my day is problem solving and communicating.

After work, I might go out for dinner, see my friends or relax at home with a book.

My career inspiration 

The Millau Viaduct, I saw it just as it was being completed. I was about 11 at the time, on holiday in the Auvergne and when I saw it, it looked like it was floating on the clouds.

I saw it and said to my parents: “I want to do that, I want to build things like that.” After that, they told me more about civil engineering and here I am, 15 years later, working as a civil engineer!

Imogen speaking at Pitch 200

Imogen speaking at Pitch 200

“​‌

I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also ... a foodie, an avid reader, a tap dancer, a feminist, a baker, a wannabe chef, a musicals lover. I’m so much more than just my job.

Imogen Graves

Assistant Design Manager at LM-JV, Enabling Works North Contract for HS2

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

That you really can make a difference, regardless of age or experience. You can have an impact on people and communities with the work you do as an engineer.

The civil engineering myth I’d like to bust

That engineers can’t communicate. My job is 90% communication. If engineers were like society’s stereotype of us, then we wouldn’t have the fantastic infrastructure that we have in the UK.

I’d recommend a career in civil engineering because

Of the variety and because you can make a genuine difference to people’s lives. As a civil engineer, you can improve the society we live in.

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

I’d love to have a year working on something remote and linear, a cross-mountain pipeline, a highway project in South America. Not the sorts of projects that have a name we all know of, but I’ve had the big-name project, I’d like something that’s all about the engineering.

What gets me out of bed every morning?

The people. The construction industry is like no other, and so are the people!

My favourite projects

HS2

Education

I took a very traditional route into engineering:

A-Levels – maths, physics, French and German

University – Master’s in Civil Engineering

Summer placements – Surveying Assistant

Work experience on Crossrail (during year 12)

Graduate Scheme – J. Murphy & Sons Ltd

Personal causes

I think it’s so important that we encourage the next generation of engineers, so I love to be involved in STEM events in schools.

I’m also passionate about seeing greater female representation in industry, so try to be involved with our company’s women’s network and wider industry initiatives where possible.

The most complex thing I’ve made out of Lego

Whenever I get access to Lego, my niece and nephew tend to be in the room, so I don’t get any of the good bits! I’m often ordered to make theme park rides (they never look much like any rides I’ve ever seen), tricky with only single and double pieces!

I want to become a civil engineer.

See how your studies lead to a civil engineering career

The job you end up with in civil engineering is likely to link back to what you studied at school, college or university. Here you can see your options at any age.

Studying at school

Up to 16 years

School / college

15-18 years

College / university

18 years +

Change career

Any age