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Alisa Ahmad

Alisa Ahmad

Assistant civil engineer, BAM Nuttall




United Kingdom
My highlights

Getting professionally qualified as an Engineering Technician (EngTech)

Winning Charted Institute of Highways & Transportation Apprentice of the Year in 2022

Being shortlisted for the Construction Apprentice of the Year 2023 – West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Award

A day in my life

My day starts with planning for the tasks ahead.

I make sure our work area follows safety practices, like having permits for digging and environmental checks, such as permits for pumping.

I gather all the engineering information I need, like data from drawings, coordinates, and CAD models. Day to day, I share instructions from the designers with our ground workers using engineering equipment.

I also take part in meetings with the site team and sometimes with stakeholders to track progress onsite and resolve issues.

Tracking materials is crucial to avoid shortages and delays, I order more if needed.

Keeping a diary helps me note all the day's activities.

Knowing I'm seen as a role model in the construction industry and the apprenticeship sector, especially for women of colour, fills me with immense pride to be breaking barriers and making a positive impact.

I chose to do an apprenticeship because...

I opted for an apprenticeship because it offers a tonne of hands-on experience you can't get in a classroom, such as using soft skills and problem solving for real life scenarios.

I get to pick up new skills and get my hands dirty (literally!) with all the learning.

I'm surrounded by experienced people in the industry who are happy to share their wisdom.

Building my communication and teamwork skills in a real work environment is valuable too.

It's all about the practical side of things, and I'm loving the journey!

We asked Alisa…

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

Each morning brings a fresh set of opportunities and problem-solving adventures.

My work contributes to making positive changes in communities and lending a helping hand to others. It's not just a job. It's a daily opportunity to learn, grow, and make a meaningful impact.

The thrill and power to make drawings come to life never gets old!

Being a part of the journey of a structure from the start to when it’s in use is incredibly rewarding.

Whenever I drive past a project I’ve worked on, it fills me with joy and pride.

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

It's a common misconception that roles in civil engineering are limited and narrow.

In reality, civil engineering is an incredibly diverse field with a range of specialisations.

Beyond traditional roles in structural or transportation engineering, there are opportunities in geotechnical, environmental, water resources, construction management – the list goes on and on!

Civil engineers can even work in various industries, such as government agencies, private consulting firms, construction companies, or research institutions.

The possibilities in civil engineering are extensive and ever-expanding!

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

My dream project would be a landmark of some kind such as a football/Olympic stadium or even a structure that breaks world records such as the Burj Khalifa!

What motivated you/is motivating you to become a professionally qualified Engineering Technician/Incorporated Engineer with ICE?

Currently, I have my Engineering Technician (EngTech) qualification, and I’m working towards achieving my Incorporated Engineer (IEng) one.

Once I achieve this, I hope to work towards my Chartered Engineer (CEng) qualification.

I see becoming professionally qualified as a golden ticket for my career journey.

It’s recognised globally, which shows that I uphold professional ethics.

Having those extra letters after my name is nice, but more importantly, it proves that I'm performing at a high standard!

Major projects

I've been involved in the development of three park and ride projects, and it's been incredibly fulfilling.

These initiatives hold special meaning to me as they contribute to addressing the climate crisis.

It provides free parking farther from the city centre and enables users to commute via a bus, thereby easing congestion in the city.

The Stourton Park and Ride was the UK’s first fully solar powered one.

It helps to offset 332 tonnes of carbon each year, by removing 1200 cars from Leeds roads, and is served by an all-electric bus fleet, with 30 electric vehicle charging bays available.

Major projects

It’s entirely powered by solar panel canopies, covering an area the size of 18 tennis courts.

There were also 11,000 trees and 9000 shrubs planted, creating a lovely green space.

I’m currently working on Leeds FAS2, a flood defence scheme situated along the River Aire.

This aims to safeguard communities from floods, protecting residents and businesses who have previously been affected by floods.