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Aimee Jones

Aimee Jones

civil engineer degree apprentice, Mott MacDonald

Expertise

Design, Environmental Management, Water

Location

United Kingdom
My highlights

ICE President’s Future Leader 2023/24

Winning the Local Hero Award at Mott MacDonald in 2022

Becoming the Engineering Talent Awards Apprentice of the Year in 2023 

A day in my life

No day in my life as a civil engineer degree apprentice looks quite the same, as each day brings new opportunities and challenges to overcome.

Generally, I start my day by making a plan of what I need to achieve and a list of key actions for the day ahead, with meetings and breaks in consideration.

My main daily tasks involve:

  • doing calculations
  • producing designs
  • writing reports
  • presenting in meetings
  • finding solutions to challenges
  • co-ordinating with other disciplines
  • working with a huge variety of different people

As a civil engineer degree apprentice, it’s important to make sure I learn from senior engineers I work with and ask questions.

This is how I ensure that all of my deliverables are checked and approved accordingly.

It also helps me be aware of the wider project and understand the overall limits and commercial considerations.

It helps me appreciate how all of the disciplines come together.

I truly believe that apprenticeships are one of the pivotal tools to help solve the national skills shortage in the industry and help to bridge the gap between education and employment.

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

I was first inspired to go into engineering when I took a course at school called Design, Engineer and Construct.

I designed a new school building for the course, and I found my passion for engineering.

I listened to talks from industry professionals, learned calculations, presented my ideas and learned how to use a laser measuring device!

At the time, I didn’t think that five years later I’d be two years into an apprenticeship with Mott MacDonald, helping to deliver amazing projects and contributing to having a positive impact on society!

We asked Aimee…

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because…

In civil engineering you have a chance to make a difference in society and are given the platform to have a positive impact.

Without civil engineers, society wouldn’t exist as we know it – from roads to railways, to having access to clean water and having green spaces to enjoy.

With a career in civil engineering, you can expect to be solving industry and societal challenges, working with a huge variety of people and other disciplines.

There are also so many different routes a civil engineer could take.

Whether that’s deciding to go into the water sector or the built environment or working for a design consultancy or contractor.

The options are limitless, and you can truly shape your future based on your interests.

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

I’m a civil engineer but I am also a tennis player, I love reading and travelling to new places!

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

What gets me out of bed each morning is that I know that I play a part in driving projects forward by producing deliverables and meeting key dates.

Also, knowing that the designs I’m working on will have an impact on people and give back to society.

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

I didn’t realise how creative civil engineering is until I started working in the industry.

I’ve found that there’s so much creativity involved when producing options and designs, working collaboratively with clients and other disciplines across the sector to deliver sustainable and resilient infrastructure.

I also love how supportive the industry is, and how you are continuously learning and exploring new parts of the industry.

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

That civil engineering is just about building roads and bridges. There are so many different sectors and pathways within engineering, and a huge variety of projects within these sectors.

For example, you could go into the water industry, and then go into wastewater treatment, or river restoration, or pipelines and networks. There are so many different opportunities and options.

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

When I was studying geography, I learned about High Speed 2 as one of the case studies, and I remember wishing that I could work on this project.

It sounded so interesting and exciting: a project that would change rail travel in the UK by travelling at speeds of up to 224 miles per hour.

It was amazing that when I started my apprenticeship at Mott MacDonald, I then had the opportunity to work on HS2, helping to delivering such a large infrastructure project!

Other projects that I wish I could’ve worked on include the construction of Tower Bridge, which was built between 1886 and 1894.

Also, being involved in the London sewer system design and construction in the 19th century – which was built by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.

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

Unfortunately, I’ve never actually made anything out of Lego! However, I did once make a model of the Tower of London out of cardboard, which took me several days.

Anything else?

Since joining Mott MacDonald, I’ve taken on the water and environment early career professional apprentice lead role.

I’m helping to build an apprenticeship network and launching initiatives to support apprentices, as well as raising the profiles of apprenticeships internally and externally.

I truly believe that apprenticeships are one of the pivotal tools to help solve the national skills shortage in the industry and help to bridge the gap between education and employment.

I’m really passionate about promoting apprenticeships and sharing my journey and experiences as a civil engineering degree apprentice.

Create a sewerage system that channels it away from central London

London sewer system

Create a sewerage system that channels it away from central London

Tower Bridge, a bascule and suspension bridge, was built to aid movement between London’s industrial East and the rest of the Thames Stretch. Its unique bascule design enabled it to ‘lift’ to allow incoming and outgoing river traffic to pass underneath it.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge, a bascule and suspension bridge, was built to aid movement between London’s industrial East and the rest of the Thames Stretch. Its unique bascule design enabled it to ‘lift’ to allow incoming and outgoing river traffic to pass underneath it.

HS2 is Britain’s new zero carbon, high-speed railway, and the UK’s flagship transport levelling up project. It's the biggest rail investment ever made in the north of England and is Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

High Speed 2 (HS2)

HS2 is Britain’s new zero carbon, high-speed railway, and the UK’s flagship transport levelling up project. It's the biggest rail investment ever made in the north of England and is Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

Aimee's career path

I studied my A-levels in maths, physics and geography, and then started my civil engineering degree apprenticeship with Mott MacDonald in September 2021.

During my apprenticeship, I’ve been working on a range of projects while studying for my BEng (Hons) degree in civil engineering at London South Bank University.

I’m also working towards my Incorporated Engineer (IEng MICE) status.

I’ve taken on the brilliant neighbours office champion role for the Brighton Office, driving projects in the local community to deliver social outcomes and sustainable solutions.

I’ve also been nominated for the New Civil Engineering Apprentice of the Year Award 2023.

Major projects

  • High Speed 2 phase 1, working in the environmental team delivering watercourse realignments and diversions, scour protection design and replacement floodplain storage area design.
  • River restoration work, designing solutions to improve the ecological health and Water Framework Directive status of the river, with considerations for flood risk.
  • Pipeline design for a wetland project delivering nature-based solutions.
  • Wastewater quality investigations project to understand the catchment contributors to water quality in a variety of UK’s rivers.
  • Project managing a rain garden voluntary project, delivering social outcomes in the local community.