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Tamsin Robbins-Hill

Tamsin Robbins-Hill

project engineer, Skanska

Expertise

Design, Project Management, Environmental Management

Location

United Kingdom
My highlights

Society for the Environment (SocEnv) Rising Star finalist 2024

Carbon expert in Skanska UK Sustainable Materials Group

Becoming a Chartered Engineer in 2018 and a Chartered Environmentalist in 2022

A day in my life

Each day is really varied, so it’s hard to define a typical day!

There’s always lots to do.

I make sure my team members understand what’s needed of them and deal with project communications. These include emails, meeting attendance, and project workshops, many of which result in actions either I or my team must address.

I’m responsible for a portfolio of over 90 projects being delivered over a three-year period.

The projects are all really fast paced, so there’s also lots of switching between projects needed, as they progress together.

I also advise clients and colleagues on carbon and sustainability matters. This can relate to projects I’m working on or other initiatives from our clients.

So, all in all, it results in a challenging but rewarding day!

There are so many options that one can specialise in to have a fulfilling career which is aligned with your own purpose and interests.

What inspired you to become a Chartered Civil Engineer and a Chartered Environmentalist?

The ability to make positive changes.

Overconsumption and living beyond our means are something I feel strongly about. On a personal level, I:

  • Became a vegetarian at the age of 16 to reduce my impact on the environment.
  • Sew and do DIY to reuse and repurpose as much as we can in our house.
  • Have an allotment that further helps us eat locally and seasonally.

These are values I feel I can bring to work and influence projects, clients and other engineers in designing with purpose and use appropriate technologies that

meet design requirements but also are better for the environment.

We asked Tamsin…

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because…

It’s exciting, constantly changing and providing new things to explore and learn.

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

I got a temporary job working as the project administrator onsite during the construction of the new Dublin wastewater treatment works.

Before this, I’d never considered a career in engineering. But I found that I enjoyed being onsite and learning about the technical aspects of the projects.

A couple of years later I started studying towards a degree and master’s in civil engineering and environmental management. I wanted to study both as I felt that it better aligned with my values.

I could also see that as a designer, I would be able to address sustainability holistically, use materials cleverly, and come up with innovative solutions that benefit the environment.

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

A crafter, a baker, a dog owner, an allotmenteer, a DIY-er and a constant student.

What gets you out of bed each morning?

The ability to blend my engineering and sustainability knowledge and apply these skills to design problems.

Also, collaborating with others to make sure the solutions we come up with today are better for the environment than those of yesterday.

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

Just how varied the career choices are. I’ve been fortunate to work as a client and as a consultant, and I’ve worked in industrial, highway, rail and water sectors.

There are so many options that one can specialise in to have a fulfilling career which is aligned with your own purpose and interests.

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

That you have to be good at maths.

Yes, you need to know maths but there are so many different fields of work in civil engineering.

Some require advanced math skills but there are other areas where more basic math skills are enough, and other skills are more critical.

What motivated you to become professionally qualified? 

Since the start of my career, obtaining the Chartered Engineer (CEng) qualification has been my ambition since it’s the benchmark of professional competence.

What does being professionally qualified with the ICE mean for your career?

I wish to continue to develop my career, and being professionally qualified with the ICE makes me stand out – I feel it sets me up for future success.

It also lets peers know and trust that I have the high level of skill needed to be an ICE member, which helps when delivering project work.

Obtaining the Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) qualification was important to me to get professional recognition of the environmental and sustainability credentials this qualification requires.

This creates more diverse opportunities for me in future, should I choose to pursue a more sustainability focused career pathway.

What’s the best thing about being professionally qualified with the ICE? 

It's helped me navigate my career in Skanska and contributed to my opportunities for promotion.

The CEnv qualification and sustainability knowledge has also been my ticket to access some of the largest projects in Skanska to provide advice and guidance, which I’ve found hugely professionally rewarding.

How did the ICE and your employer support you to become professionally qualified? 

I got chartered through the career appraisal route. This was a quite self-driven route, but my employer encouraged me to progress and gave me time to fill gaps in my CPD and run ICE written exercise groups.

My local ICE membership manager supported me to submit my application which was sometimes challenging due to my dyslexia and ADHD.

Similarly, my CEnv application was also self-driven and supported by sponsors outside of my organisation and the ICE Wales director, as not many people had obtained this accreditation through the ICE.

What do you value most about being an ICE member? 

The sense of professional community the ICE offers, peer support from members and colleagues, and the credibility of being an ICE member.

Tamsin's career path

I started studying for a higher national certificate (HNC) in civil engineering as a mature student and got a job in highways working for a local authority.

I wanted to progress so after a year out, I went back to university and studied for a BEng and MSc in Civil Engineering and Environmental Management while working for a different local authority.

For the last nine years I’ve worked for Skanska, currently working as a project engineer.

I’ve gained experience in the design, management and construction of civil engineering structures across a broad range of projects, covering highways, industrial and water sectors, and temporary works.

I was one of the founding members of Skanska Technology Ltd.’s Green Carbon Consultancy.