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Anisa Koci

Anisa Koci

Principal port project manager, Portsmouth International Port

Expertise

Construction, Project Management, Water

Location

United Kingdom
Career highlights

Delivering complex multi-million pounds scheme from feasibility study to construction

Became vice-chair for the ICE South Branch Graduates, Students, and Apprentices (GSA) Committee

Was part of #HerStories series for women in construction launched by Girls Under Construction

A day in my life

My role revolves around ensuring that the design and construction works are following the agreed programme and budget, and that risks are appropriately managed and tracked.

I direct and monitor staff in the completion of work packages, and manage external consultants and project staff to ensure targets are achieved.

On other days, I represent the company at stakeholder engagement events, assisting and carrying out consultations on scheme proposals and advising the members as necessary.

What I would say to young women joining the industry is to be persistent in your passion and what you want to do. Take what you have a passion for and use it to drive your career and interests.

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

I’ve always had an interest in engineering as it runs in my family, and I wanted to seek the same opportunities to travel and expand my knowledge.

This is how I developed a passion for STEM subjects, which was followed by an engineering degree and then a job in the construction industry.

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because …

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because it’s a challenging but very rewarding career. Seeing your design go from initial drawings and concept ideas to a completed build is what makes everything worth it.

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

I made the Queen Bar building. Took me around 5-6 hours as it was very detailed.

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

I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also vice-chair for the ICE Graduate and Student Committee South branch.

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

The responsibility to deliver major projects and make a change in the industry so it’s more diverse.

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

It’s the diversity that the maritime industry provides. Every day is different, challenging and I can tell that I learn something new every day.

The project/programme management role gives you the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of projects and working with many stakeholders and organisations, which makes the job very exciting.

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

The delivery of the main Port Terminal Building, which was constructed before I joined the team at Portsmouth International Port.

I wanted to support the project because it has a lot of carbon neutral and green initiatives built in.

What are you doing to help fight against climate change?

I’m part of the team at Portsmouth International Port that is taking a proactive approach towards carbon emissions with a comprehensive sustainability plan.

The plan sets out a road map that will help fulfil the port’s ambition of becoming the first net carbon neutral UK port by 2030, and the first zero emission port as part of the government’s Maritime 2050 strategy.

Any personal causes?

I've always been among very few women. I was one of only a few girls in my classes at university, and this still applies to my job today.

It’s typically a very male dominated industry which can bring some challenges, as I sometimes feel like I have to prove myself and act more ‘robust’ when I first walk in to manage a room full of male workers.

What I would say to young women joining the industry is to be persistent in your passion and what you want to do. Take what you have a passion for and use it to drive your career and interests.

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

On who guided the construction of Brooklyn Bridge. It was Emily Warren Roebling!

She undertook the engineering studies for bridges and structures to continue the build of Brooklyn Bridge once her husband (chief engineer of the project) became ill. She replaced his role and the bridge was successfully constructed.

Anisa's career path

I finalised my MSc in Civil Engineering with Environmental Engineering at the University of Portsmouth and started work as graduate highways engineer at Paul Basham Associates.

This was followed by a highways engineer role within the regeneration team at Portsmouth City Council. I was then promoted to senior project manager (technical).

I’m currently principal port project manager undertaking major schemes and programmes with Portsmouth International Port.

My current role mainly involves the management of infrastructure schemes, which supports the growth and regeneration of the local surrounding Portsmouth area.

Most recently, the levelling and expansion of our cruise berth which has been an important investment for the city.

This multi-million-pound development project I work on provide job opportunities for the local community and will positively enhance the infrastructure and transport of the city.

I’m also multilingual! I speak Albanian, English, Greek, Italian and Spanish.