Tina Gunnarsson

Tina Gunnarsson

Senior Temporary Works Engineer at Balfour Beatty

Country United Kingdom

Specialisms Design, construction, digital

Career highlights

How I became a civil engineer

Tina did an International Baccalaureate at school, studying Maths, Physics and Geography at Higher Level. She then completed an MEng in Civil Engineering at Imperial College London as an ICE QUEST scholar, before joining Balfour Beatty as a Graduate Engineer.

A typical working day

Each day is completely different from another. 

The day is a combination of engineering calculations, creating 3D drawings, site visits, phone calls to resolve issues on site, discussions, hosting and attending meetings, creative strategic planning and emails.

I am continuously learning something new every day

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I'm inspired by continuously trying to improve the world around me through working on exciting engineering projects.

Tina Gunnarsson

Senior Temporary Works Engineer

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because...

You get to work on really exciting projects, and your job can bring positive impact to society on a scale that extends beyond the reach of most other jobs.

Now is an exciting time to join the industry. We are exploring new digital ways of working such as digital construction, virtual reality and the digital twin.

What’s the biggest/most complex thing you’ve made out of Lego? How long did it take you?

The Star Wars Death Star, which I built together with a 5-year old that I was looking after for the evening. The smallest thing I have made are Lego earrings.

Which individual project or person inspired you to become a civil engineer?

When I was at school, I fundraised for the charity Tabitha and travelled to Cambodia to build 15 houses for a small village so their houses wouldn’t get washed away during the monsoon season. This inspired me to learn more about engineering as I realised the positive impact it could have on communities and improving future sustainability.

Complete this phrase: I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also …

A climber, trail runner and traveller. I’m currently training for an ultra-marathon and spend my remaining free time bouldering, scouting or planning my next adventure.

What about being a civil engineer gets you out of bed each morning?

Working on exciting projects, continuously improving the world around me, and the team of supportive people that I work with.

What’s the one great thing that you love about civil engineering that you didn’t know until you started working in the industry?

How many options there are! You can be on your feet all day on site, doing calculations in the office, creating 3D models, writing bids, working with legal or commercial, championing sustainability or safety. You get a lot of responsibility early on, and your role can range from a technical team member to leading your own team or section of works. There are many different career paths and you develop a wide skill-set in the process.

Which civil engineering project (past or present) do you wish you’d worked on?

The International Space Station – how amazing would that be.

Name one civil engineering myth you’d like to bust.

That civil engineers are boring, and that you have to be male to succeed.

Together with my engineering colleagues, we have completed ultra-marathons, summited volcanoes 4000m above sea level, escaped several escape rooms and gone kayaking in the Lake District.

I want to become a civil engineer.

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