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Imogen Graves

Imogen Graves

Assistant Design Manager, LM-JV: Enabling Works North Contract for HS2

Expertise

Design, Construction, Project management

Location

United Kingdom
Career highlights

Living in London for six weeks for work

Working on demolition, ground remediation, structures and highways, all within one project

Winning Pitch 200 in 2018

A day in my life

A day in the life of Imogen has to start with coffee, a cup at home and another once I get into the office. I’m office-based at the moment, but spend a lot of time across a couple of different offices, as my job is about interface, communicating our designs, requirements and restrictions to the other people on the contract.

A lot of my time is spent in meetings, but the general idea of my day is problem solving and communicating.

After work, I might go out for dinner, see my friends or relax at home with a book.

I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also ... a foodie, an avid reader, a tap dancer, a feminist, a baker, a wannabe chef, a musicals lover. I’m so much more than just my job.

My career inspiration 

The Millau Viaduct, I saw it just as it was being completed. I was about 11 at the time, on holiday in the Auvergne and when I saw it, it looked like it was floating on the clouds.

I saw it and said to my parents: “I want to do that, I want to build things like that.” After that, they told me more about civil engineering and here I am, 15 years later, working as a civil engineer!

Imogen speaking at Pitch 200
Imogen speaking at Pitch 200

We asked Imogen…

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

That you really can make a difference, regardless of age or experience. You can have an impact on people and communities with the work you do as an engineer.

Which civil engineering myth(s) you would like to bust?

That engineers can’t communicate. My job is 90% communication. If engineers were like society’s stereotype of us, then we wouldn’t have the fantastic infrastructure that we have in the UK.

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

I’d love to have a year working on something remote and linear, a cross-mountain pipeline, a highway project in South America. Not the sorts of projects that have a name we all know of, but I’ve had the big-name project, I’d like something that’s all about the engineering.

What about being a civil engineer inspires you?

The people. The construction industry is like no other, and so are the people!

Would you recommend a career in civil engineering?

Of the variety and because you can make a genuine difference to people’s lives. As a civil engineer, you can improve the society we live in.

Education

I took a very traditional route into engineering:

A-Levels – maths, physics, French and German

University – Master’s in Civil Engineering

Summer placements – Surveying Assistant

Work experience on Crossrail (during year 12)

Graduate Scheme – J. Murphy & Sons Ltd