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Christina Dunn

Christina Dunn

Incoming graduate structural engineer, Arup.


Design, Construction, Structural


United Kingdom
Career highlights

Presented the Nottingham Engineering Excellence Award for top 5% overall performance at university

Winning the 2022 High Early Strength Concrete Cube Competition run by the ICE East Midlands G&S Committee

Part of the Inspiring Women in STEM Programme at the University of Nottingham

A day in my life

Life at university for me is organised by a full timetable from lectures to labs and group projects, leading to a good work-life balance.

Life on site for me began at 7am with the daily briefing before going out on site to set out from drawings, manage gangs and monitor progress.

Life in the office for me involved collaborating with site engineers, designers, and the client to maximise quality and safety.

I'm a civil engineer, but I'm also wearing heels to work tomorrow.

Who inspired you to become a civil engineer?

My mum inspired me to become a civil engineer from our shared love for maths and physics.

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because …

There are infinite possibilities for you as a problem solver to make a positive impact on a global scale.

What’s the biggest/most complex thing you’ve made out of Lego?

I recreated a cruise ship from a summer holiday in Lego with everything from a retractable roof to water slides.

It only took me a day to build thanks to my spatial awareness and photographic memory.

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

The fact I can add value through projects that align with my values.

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

The range of people you’ll come across on site and in the office working together to achieve a common goal.

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

The Eden Project, for its structural innovation and sustainable invention.

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

That I’m just like Bob the Builder.

Has civil engineering helped you overcome any personal or professional challenges/difficulties?

I got out of my comfort zone when I relocated from the Lake District to London for my summer placement and now I’m moving there for my graduate job.

What are you doing to help fight against climate change?

Educating myself.

Any personal causes or hobbies?

I'm a hockey and netball player. Also a type 1 diabetic.

Favourite projects

Built in 2001, the Eden Project turned a disused Cornish claypit into a temperature-controlled environment for an entire rainforest - as well as hundreds of other plants.

Eden Project

Built in 2001, the Eden Project turned a disused Cornish claypit into a temperature-controlled environment for an entire rainforest - as well as hundreds of other plants.

Christina's career story

I took A-Levels in maths, further maths, physics and art before studying an MEng in civil engineering at the University of Nottingham.

Furthermore, the ICE QUEST scholarship enabled me to gain invaluable experience on site which helped my career transition from contracting to consulting.

Major projects

  • ICE QUEST summer placement in 2021 at London Power Tunnels Package 2: shafts and tunnels, a HOCHTIEF-MURPHY joint venture for National Grid.
  • ICE QUEST summer placement in 2019 at Exeter Railway Maintenance Depot with HOCHTIEF (UK) Construction for Great Western Railway and Network Rail.