24th June 2024

INWED 2024 Lucy

As we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, a celebration of the remarkable contributions women make in engineering we would like to introduce you to Lucy, our Graduate Geotechnical Engineer working for the Strata team.

This day highlights all achievements and inspires future generations.

Join us in sharing Lucy’s story as she shares who inspired her to join the engineering field, what she loves about her day-to-day work and what she hopes to achieve in the future.

Can you tell us about a key project you’ve worked on and its impact?

I enjoy working on large projects that I can see making a large tangible impact on people and services, I like being able to say to friends and family “I worked on that”.

I have just finished a stretch of night shifts on the M1, supervising rotary drilling for the new emergency refuge areas being constructed between Junction 28 and 30, as well as spending a lot of time working on the RS4-6 project which is assisting Network Rail in planning the design for electrification of the Midlands Main Line.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

After university, I was uncertain about my career path because my degree opened doors to various fields. Geotechnical engineering caught my interest, but it wasn’t until my friend Shannon started at Strata that I set my sights on it. Hearing about the daily challenges and growth opportunities resonated with me. I enjoy travelling across the country and tackling diverse projects, which is why the job’s variety appealed to me. From logging and rig supervision to monitoring, report writing, and data processing, I appreciate the chance to develop a well-rounded skill set.

What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

Work-life balance can be challenging due to travelling a lot for work. I try to make the most of it by enjoying myself and appreciating the opportunity to work all over the country.

On-site practical challenges include extreme weather, poor lighting, and unsuitable working areas. Writing and logging in heavy rain and high winds can be tough, but creating a makeshift sheltered area and pre-labelling everything helps. Insufficient welfare units are an ongoing issue, often unavoidable except by reporting them, so I prepare for the possibility of no facilities all day.

What excites you the most about engineering?

I mostly enjoy being on site and tackling the unique challenges each job presents. The variety of skills I learn is rewarding, from logging while supervising different types of rigs to using and maintaining monitoring and sampling equipment.

What are your future goals in your engineering career?

I don’t usually constrain myself with specific long-term goals as I tend to find that opportunities, I hadn’t planned for often present themselves and set you on an unexpected path.

I would like to eventually become a chartered engineer and potentially pursue a master’s in civil engineering for a broader industry understanding. However, I take each opportunity as it comes, valuing flexibility to grow and move into other disciplines without being confined to a predetermined path.

Can you describe a typical day in your life as an engineer?

With my day-to-day never being the same, I don’t have a typical day as a graduate. Sometimes I’m data processing in the office, sometimes working night shifts on rail, occasionally I travel to remote locations for brief but essential tasks. Every day is an exciting opportunity. As a graduate, I can work anywhere at any time of day, so a typical day doesn’t really exist for me.