My journey into Civil Engineering
“My top tip for girls? Get stuck in and ask lots of questions”.
To mark International Women in Engineering Day 2018, Rosie Miller, Site Engineer with CECA Scotland member BAM Nuttall, has written a short blog for us on her career journey so far, what her job involves and the challenges and opportunities for women and girls considering a career in in the engineering sector.
“I am a Site Civil Engineer working for BAM Nuttall, carrying out a variety of infrastructure and energy developments including road, rail, nuclear and electricity.
When I was at school, I aspired to be involved in engineering but didn’t really understand how varied engineering was. Once I finished school I completed an apprenticeship programme with BAM Nuttall over a four year period, gaining qualifications including a Higher National Diploma and a Technical Membership of the Institute of Civil Engineers. The career path varied from the standard University route a lot of people expected me to go down, however it allowed me to gain lots of practical knowledge about how the industry works. Furthermore, it meant I was employed and improving my career prospects with the company at an age when all my peers still remained in university.
My main responsibility on site is to help with managing teams of engineers, communicating with clients and designers and the site team and primarily making sure things are constructed to the right position, level and quality. It’s a really varied role as I never know what challenges the next day will bring.
Some of the best aspects about the job are getting to see many different places and meet lots of new people. I have been fortunate enough to travel around Scotland and the North of England with the different projects I have worked on. It has been great to work outdoors and be able to go to places I would have never ventured before.
Through the apprenticeship I undertook, I got to learn on the job, as opposed to being stuck in a classroom learning about the theory. This hands-on experience was also topped off with the fact I got paid for it throughout.
I’m always surprised when people imagine the construction industry is a difficult place for women to fit in. I have felt completely the opposite, being welcomed into every project I have worked on as part of the team.
One of the biggest things within the construction industry is that it can be perceived as a male dominated industry, with little opportunity for women to get involved. Now I am involved in it, I am pleased that it is not what its actually like, and I feel extremely comfortable working with the rest of the guys.
My main piece of advice I have for young girls interested in the industry is don’t be afraid to get involved, go for it, get stuck in and ask lots of questions.
You can find out more about International Women in Engineering Day at http://www.inwed.org.uk