ICE President’s Future Leader 2021/22
Spending final year of engineering degree in Australia
Six-month placement on construction site
A day in my life
On a typical day I could be working on variety of projects and tasks.
Each task has its own challenges, so no day is ever the same. I could be performing calculations for finer details on a project or scheming ideas which focus on the bigger picture.
I recently completed a six-month placement on a construction site. It was exciting to experience the action on-site and be involved with the physical construction process.
As the site engineer, I helped make sure things were built as per the design drawings.
Once the works were complete, it was really fulfilling to see the finished product and to know you had a part to play in making it happen.
Jobs in civil engineering often offer a good work-life balance, so you have time to do the things you like outside work.
Often after work I’ll go to the gym, meet up with friends or catch up on my favourite TV shows.
What do you do?
I am currently working with structural engineering company Robert Bird Group. I am in the construction engineering team where we focus on temporary works design and constructability of infrastructure and buildings projects.
We asked Kristina…
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 know how important the role of the civil engineer was in our day-to-day activities. From the tube network to the sewage system, it’s all possible because of civil engineering. The work of civil engineers is vital in making the world a better place and there is a lot of innovation going on within the industry to help combat climate change.
Which individual project or person inspired you to become a civil engineer?
The Sydney Opera House, located in Australia. This was a complex project and the civil engineers involved were critical in enabling it to be built. Their out-of-the-box thinking found ways to install the huge roof “shells” and really bring the architect’s vision on paper to life.
I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also…
A Muay Thai (martial arts) beginner (and getting better each time!)
What about being a civil engineer gets you out of bed each morning?
It’s a problem-solving job and I enjoy finding the solutions.
Which civil engineering project (past or present) do you wish you’d worked on?
The Oresund Bridge in Denmark. The bridge emerges from the sea, making it both a bridge and a tunnel. It would have been exciting to be involved with the construction, if only just to see first-hand how it was built!
Has civil engineering helped you overcome any personal hurdles/difficulties?
Civil engineering can be a very interactive profession. I do a lot of collaboration with different groups of people and it has made me grow in confidence and given me the courage to pursue new opportunities.
Work training/education and career
I attended a state school in London before going to university to study civil and environmental engineering.
I did three of my four years at university in the UK and completed the last year in Australia, as part of an exchange programme. This was a very exciting experience and I got to explore parts of the world I never thought I would, all while studying!
Since graduating I have been working in London and continue to be supported by my workplace and the ICE to keep on growing as an engineer.
I’d recommend a career in civil engineering because...
There are so many disciplines within civil engineering. You can work on a construction site, in a design office, project management… the list goes on! It;s such a flexible career path and you can always find new opportunities to challenge yourself.
Name one civil engineering myth you’d like to bust.
Engineering is just for men. WRONG. Each year, more and more women join the engineering profession. The construction industry is focused on being inclusive and diverse and there has been a noticeable increase in diversity among industry leaders over recent years.