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Ramsha Saleem

Ramsha Saleem

graduate civil engineer, WSP


Construction, Design, Water


United Kingdom
My highlights

ICE President’s Future Leader 2023/24

Presenter at 2023 International Association of Spatial Structures Conference in Melbourne, Australia

Internationally published author with research on hands-on learning in civil engineering higher education

A day in my life

I typically start my day taking my chocolate Labrador for a walk and then grabbing a coffee during my commute to the office.

When I arrive at the office, I go through my emails.

I will spend most of my day designing overland flow strategies involving engineering calculations or modelling. I’ll also spend time understanding problems and optioneering for flood alleviation schemes.

I also have meetings with my discipline team, project teams or other disciplines to discuss progress and any issues on schemes.

After work, I enjoy catching up with friends, doing yoga, or cooking and having a relaxing evening in.

[Civil engineering is] a profession that challenges you every day and one in which you can never stop learning.

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

After my A-levels, I had the opportunity to travel to the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan from Islamabad to the Khunjerab Pass.

During the trip, I spent time in the mountainous Hunza valley and spoke to the local community of Wakhi people and the Chinese engineers who were repairing the highway.

Through these conversations, I saw first-hand the powerful and transformative effect of civil engineering in improving the lives of people.

Civil engineers are changing the destiny of generations and shaping the future of our planet, and I want that to be my legacy.

We asked Ramsha…

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

Feeling that the work I do is worthwhile as it’s improving the lives of people and societies, while also addressing the challenges facing our world.

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

Before I joined the industry, I didn’t realise just how broad and diverse the industry is in the various sectors it covers, the range of opportunities it presents, and the diverse range of people and experiences within it.

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because…

It enables you to make a direct impact on society, change lives and contribute to overcoming some of the biggest challenges facing our world.

It’s a profession that challenges you every day and one in which you can never stop learning.

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

I would’ve liked to work on the Thames Tideway project.

It’s such an impressive scheme which will make such a huge contribution to society and it’s the perfect example of what we can achieve when we all work together.

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

That civil engineering is all about buildings and bridges.

The industry is so large and diverse, engineers have such a pivotal role in so many wide-reaching areas, especially with the focus on more sustainable methods of working.

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

I made a 1m bridge to hold a certain weight as part of a competition for the Surrey ICE Scholarship Interview Day.

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

A baker, adventurer, and pianist.

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

The resilience and drive that my journey in civil engineering so far has instilled in me has translated into other areas of my life.

Anything else? i.e. personal causes, hobbies

I’m passionate about STEM and encouraging more diversity in the industry.

I’m also passionate about making civil engineering higher education curricula reflect the ever-evolving industry.

I advocate for teaching styles that are more student-centred and hands-on to allow students to develop skills that will better prepare them for industry.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is part of a 3-stage project to cut river pollution and clean up the Thames.

Thames Tideway

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is part of a 3-stage project to cut river pollution and clean up the Thames.

Ramsha's career path

  • I competed my A-levels in maths, physics, English literature, Spanish and history in 2018 before undertaking a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Surrey.
  • I was awarded a Surrey ICE Scholarship allowing me to undertake a placement with Tony Gee and a placement year with WSP.
  • Since graduating in 2022, I’ve joined WSP full time as a graduate engineer in the sustainable water management team.