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Martin Findlay

Martin Findlay

senior consultant, Arup's International Development team


Design, Water


United Kingdom
My highlights

Helping solve water quality and quantity problems in Cameroon

Being a trustee for Engineers Without Borders UK

Being lead engineer at the A303 public consultation

A day in my life

Like most people these days, I spend most of my day bouncing between Teams calls. On any one day I’m:

  • helping colleagues working on water projects in low-middle countries
  • trying to persuade clients to think about the future risk of climate change and that they need to take flooding seriously
  • speaking to charities about possible collaborations
  • looking at project opportunities
  • helping more junior colleagues with their career goals

When I have a gap in calls, I may spend some time reviewing the designs that a consultant has worked on for schools in Peru.

Then I research how we can best incorporate natural capital on a country-wide water project that I’m managing in Botswana.

When the workday is over, I will generally try to get a climbing session or a run in, or else just collapse on the sofa and watch a good film.

Civil engineering is much more complex than just building stuff!

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

My uncle, who’s a civil engineer.

We asked Martin…

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because…

It’s taken me all over the world! So far my work has taken me to Tanzania, Borneo, Cameroon, Liberia, Central African Republic, Somalia, Ethiopia, Peru, and counting.

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

Probably the NASA space shuttle when I was 10 years old. It only took a day or two – I used to be great at Lego (although mainly the instructions were really easy to follow).  

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

A humanitarian and rock climber.

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

The ability to make a real difference in the world, whether through combatting poverty, climate change or just building something that will help the people in your local community.

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

Ivanpah Solar Power Facility – because I did my dissertation on concentrated solar power projects and so would love to work on a big solar scheme!

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

That civil engineers are boring. Some are, but most of us are not! 

Has civil engineering helped you overcome any personal hurdles/difficulties?

Doing presentations throughout my degree and guest lectures after university has made me overcome my fear of public speaking.  

Any hobbies?

Rock climbing, hiking, playing the piano.  

Martin's career path

  • Civil engineering degree at Newcastle University
  • Engineers Without Borders - UK Placement in Cameroon
  • Flood risk officer at Environment Agency
  • Civil engineering graduate at Arup
  • Trustee at Engineers Without Borders UK
  • WASH engineering officer at Concern Worldwide
  • Senior consultant in the International Development team at Arup

Major projects