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Lilli Craemer

Lilli Craemer

chartered civil engineer, senior planner, Costain


Construction, Project Management


United Kingdom
My highlights

Founded ICE Wales Cymru's regional fairness, inclusion and respect group 

Filmed an educational video for Techniquest to promote civil engineering

Invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s Garden Party to celebrate ICE 200

A day in my life

Since my role as senior planner revolves around programme and production control, every day is a bit different. It depends on where we are in the weekly and monthly programme cycle.

I normally start my day with a cup of coffee, a check through my emails and a catch up with my team to plan the work for the day. This will involve for example:

  • Spending time with the construction team to review their progress and any blocks to achieve key milestones.
  • Reviewing programmes from our subcontractors.
  • Facilitating collaborative planning workshops to look at the bigger picture.
  • Updating the contract programme in the planning software and preparing a submission document to the client.
  • Streamlining planning processes to allow better integration and visualisation of the programme within the wider project delivery, including use of emerging technologies.

Strengthening our mental health so that we can grow together as an inclusive profession and industry is very important to me.

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

A family friend took us around projects he worked on as a plasterer and I fell in love with the idea of having a job where I could see my creations for a very long time. Then, a career advisor suggested checking out civil engineering.

We asked Lilli…

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because…

Civil engineering is awesome as it gives you a versatile career within the different stages of a construction project, various disciplines and roles. You can adopt any that fits around your ambition and lifestyle.

Plus, it has a great community that makes it fun to raise to the challenge of making a difference to the world we live in.

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

I once spent Christmas with my six-year-old godson building all his Lego presents, including a massive fire engine and passenger airplane. I’m not sure who had more fun.

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

I’m a civil engineer, and I’m also a neuro linguistic programming (NLP) master practitioner running my own coaching business.

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

My ambition to master today’s challenges and inspire the people I work with to be awesome. 

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

That it’s fun to build anything – big bridges or small sewers – when you are responsible, it becomes your pride and joy. 

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

I watched a film about the construction of the first Severn Bridge and wished I’d worked on it. 

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

That civil engineering means long hours.

The truth is the versatility of roles in civil engineering gives the flexibility to adapt around your own ambitions and lifestyle.

The pandemic has opened the field even more for agile working, which enables a better work-life balance in the construction industry.

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

The civil engineering community has been a great factor in making me feel at home in the UK. Delivering construction projects together creates a unique bond between people.

What are you doing to help fight against climate change?

As an NLP master practitioner, I like to use an abundance mindset (instead of a scarcity mindset) to open our unconscious mind to more solutions to achieve net zero. As Tony Robbins says, energy flows where attention goes. 

Anything personal causes or hobbies?

I’m keen to promote the various opportunities available in civil engineering to attract more women and a diverse workforce into the industry.

Strengthening our mental health so that we can grow together as an inclusive profession and industry is very important to me.

Cut journey times from England to Wales via a Victorian tunnel and a modern suspension bridge.

Severn Crossings

Cut journey times from England to Wales via a Victorian tunnel and a modern suspension bridge.

Image credit: Lilli Craemer

Baglan II

Baglan II: progress and techniquest.

Lilli's career path

I took A-levels, then went to university and completed a graduate programme. However, there are many options to become a civil engineer so anyone can find a path that suits them.

I studied civil engineering in Germany and came to the UK as an au pair to improve my English and expand my horizon. What an adventure it became!

Major projects