ExpertiseConstruction, Project Management
Working on delivering multi-million-pound renewal schemes on England’s strategic road network
Chair of the ICE Kent and East Sussex Early Careers Network (ECNet)
Volunteered as mentor on the STEMettes ‘Student to Stemette’ programme
A day in my life
As a project manager, my role involves getting a scheme from detailed design to construction and then to project close out.
My day starts with a run through of my inbox.
As most of our works are carried out during nighttime hours, I like to check for progress updates from the site team.
Then I note down items I need to follow up with and then any general operational updates.
My role has a few routine tasks that I need to complete such as ensuring commercial/contractual documents are in place, financial forecasting and reporting, and booking access to the road network.
The rest of my time is spent in meetings going through the design with the consultants, our stakeholder management team, and collaborating with contractors and the commercial team.
Aside from that, each scheme comes with its own unique challenges due to the nature of the road networks.
A lot of people including myself thought [civil engineering] was just about building large structures, but there’s so much more to it. From water to aviation and energy, civil engineers are involved with a lot of it.
I would recommend a career in civil engineering because …
There are so many different disciplines and routes to the industry, so you’re bound to find something that you enjoy within it.
And the bonus is that you get to make a positive difference to society and infrastructure around you.
We asked Folashade…
What motivated you, or is motivating you, to become professionally qualified?
The recognition of being part of an internationally recognised institution is part of the reason I’m working towards becoming professionally qualified with the ICE.
What does being professionally qualified with the ICE mean for your career?
When I become professionally qualified, it would mean that I’ve shown a level of credibility in my profession and have achieved a level of competency and continual personal development to do so.
What do you value most about being an ICE member?
The number of resources and opportunities available to members!
How has being a member helped your career?
The ICE was started by a group of engineers who wanted to create a network where you can share knowledge and experience with likeminded people.
I can say that this is still the goal today and I have learnt so much and met so many great individuals by joining the events and even running a few myself.
It has helped me continue to develop my technical and soft skills.
What’s one great thing that you love about civil engineering that you didn’t know until you started working in the industry?
How diverse it is in terms of disciplines available.
A lot of people including myself thought it was just about building large structures, but there’s so much more to it. From water to aviation and energy, civil engineers are involved with a lot of it.
Which individual project or person inspired you to become a civil engineer?
I don’t think there has ever been a specific person or project that inspired it.
It has been the result of fascination of the built environment around me that encouraged me to learn more about civil engineering and choose a career.
What about being a civil engineer gets you out of bed each morning?
The fact that I know my job allows me to play a part in helping to deliver something that provides a positive impact to people’s lives.
Which civil engineering project (past or present) do you wish you’d worked on?
It would have to be the Lower Thames Crossing.
The aim of the project is to design the UK’s greenest road ever.
With sustainability being such a hot topic, especially in the world of major projects, it would be interesting to learn how this is possible and to be part of the team that delivers it.
Working in the capital renewals sector for highways, I also have an appreciation of the importance of having a quality design, construction and a maintenance programme in place for an asset post construction.
As such, I would like to learn how the sustainability goals can be maintained through the serviceable life of the asset.
Name one civil engineering myth you’d like to bust.
It’s not all mud and working onsite, but it’s also not all sitting in front of a computer screen crunching numbers with formulas or producing designs in 3D.
There are roles that allow you to experience and appreciate both sides, which I enjoy.
Complete this phrase: I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also…
Human like everyone else and an advocate for equity in inclusion in the civil engineering and construction industry.
What’s the biggest/most complex thing you’ve made out of Lego? How long did it take you?
Interestingly enough, I’m not one of the group of engineers who grew up building something grand with Lego bricks although I did enjoy playing with them.
Now that I’m older, I would love the challenge of trying to build something complex like a cable-stayed bridge like the one that I got the fantastic opportunity to see at Rochester Cathedral with the Rochester Bridge Trust.
Made of 20,000 bricks it was constructed by BRICKLIVE and was created for the ICE.
Anything else? i.e. personal causes, hobbies
I’ve started going to the gym a lot more and enjoy strength training and dancing, which is probably good as I’m an avid baker!
Folashade's career path
I completed my undergraduate degree in civil and infrastructure engineering at the University of Derby.
I always had an interest in the sustainability side of the industry and knew I wanted to develop my knowledge further, so I decided to continue with my education and completed a master's in environmental engineering at Imperial College London.
Following my studies, I started working in the industry as a graduate civil engineer with Costain.
My first role was graduate highways design engineer working on one of their joint ventures in Area 4 (Kent) with National Highways as the client, where I first gained real appreciation for our strategic road network.
Looking for more experience and challenging opportunities, I moved to other projects with Costain, working on Thames Tideway and then HS2.
And now I’m working with National Highways as a project manager, and it has been an interesting experience so far, now working as a client.