International Women in Engineering Day 2019

International Women in Engineering Day helps to raise the profile of women in the industry and focuses attention on the great career opportunities available. At Wardell Armstrong, we are engaged with schools and STEM groups to provide a positive insight into the benefits to young women and men studying sciences and engineering. We are also actively engaged with a number of graduate programmes with the same objectives in mind.

Some of our female engineers share their insights and experiences from within the industry and why they enjoy their career as an engineer:

Engineering Geologist Jennifer Smedley, based in our Bolton office, has been involved in a wide variety of projects office and site based; from ground engineering projects that form desk-based coal mining risk assessments and desk studies, to management and reporting of on-site ground investigation and drill and grout projects. Jennifer has also gained experience in waste management from tender and bid reporting to on-site cell construction and drilling works. “Each of the projects I work on is different with its own challenges, but that makes things more interesting!”

Jodie Parkes, a Senior Geospatial Analyst based in our Stoke office works in digital engineering on multiple projects utilising spatial data for various disciplines including Archaeology and Heritage; Ground Engineering; Mineral Estates; and Planning and Environment. As the Building Information Modelling (BIM) lead for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Surveying across the Firm, Jodie coordinates improved digital data processes for large scale infrastructure projects. Jodie is currently undertaking a part-time MSc in Geographic Information Technologies and has recently been awarded the status of Chartered Geographer in GIS with the Royal Geographical Society.

From a very young age Technical Director, Louise Dow was fascinated by Earth Sciences and the diverse subject of Geology in particular. Now, years later, Louise leads a team of ground and environmental engineers in our Cardiff office developing new business and client management. Ground engineering is a varied field with each project and client being diverse and interesting, and as a career many opportunities exist for a wide variety of people with differing traits. “The best advice I can give is to immerse yourself in studies that excite and interest you, even when you don’t really know what career path you would like to follow, your enjoyment of a particular subject will stand you well on the road to success.”

Associate Director Kerry Whitehouse is based in our Birmingham office, where she is responsible for a managing a team developing flood risk assessment and drainage strategies for developments, as well as supporting local authorities fulfilling their drainage role. Her role within our Civil Engineering team gives her the opportunity to work in her chosen specialism on a wide variety of projects for different clients. “No two days are ever the same, there is always a new challenge to overcome or problem to solve which is what makes engineering such a great career choice”

Graduate Engineering Geologist, Sorrel Goodreid inherited an interest for a career in engineering from her Dad who is a Mechanical Engineer. He regularly worked with geotechnical engineers and used to encourage her on the prospects within such a diverse field, particularly for women. Whilst Sorrel was completing her Masters Degree at the University of Leeds, Wardell Armstrong visited for a career’s day and the vast range of work that recent graduates had been involved in showed her the great potential for a career! Since graduating, Sorrel has been working in the Contaminated Land part of our wider Ground Engineering Team at our Stoke office and has already been involved in work relating to several different aspects of the sector, including quarrying, redevelopment of brownfield sites and environmental gas and groundwater monitoring. “The quantity of women in higher roles within the Firm has helped me realise the true potential of a female graduate engineer within the Engineering industry.”

Environmental Scientist, Laura Hoath from our Manchester office has a long history of working in Ground Engineering, specialising in contaminated land. She has worked on projects that include the production of Phase 1 desk studies, supervision and coordination of Phase 2 intrusive investigations and the supervision of hazardous waste management and non-licensable asbestos work.

With over 19 years’ experience in environmental management in the international mining and metallurgical Industry, Associate Director Christine Blackmore based in our Stoke office is experienced in environmental auditing and management of mines and metallurgical processes for environmental protection. Christine is ICMI accredited Lead Cyanide Auditor and registered EU Expert Assessor. Christine was awarded the IOM3 Futers Gold Medal for outstanding services to the international minerals industry 2018 and was a nominated finalist in the top 100 inspirational Women in Mining in the world.

Technical Director and Chartered Geologist Joanne Shaw has over 18 years’ experience in ground contamination and project management. Joanne is responsible for, and leads the Ground Engineering team based in our new Leeds office and spends her days coordinating and providing clear technical information on multi-disciplinary projects to our clients to meet their deadlines. As a STEM Ambassador, Joanne is committed to education outreach in Leeds.

Senior Civil Engineer Ann Presley, knew that she wanted to be an engineer from 8 years old, but found it tough pursuing a career in engineering at a time when few women were in the industry. Fortunately, Ann has enjoyed a brilliant career in engineering worldwide and now is part of the Civil Engineering Team at our Stoke office working on projects ranging from waste recycling centres, to housing estates, to link roads, to dam restorations. As a STEM Ambassador, Ann hopes that she can start to increase the number of women in engineering by sharing her knowledge and experiences with local schools and community.

Bethan Hallett finds her role as an Engineering Geologist challenging and enjoyable. Over the past year whilst working at Wardell Armstrong in our Cardiff office, Bethan has worked on a wide range of projects and specifically her first large site investigation, where she gained experience in logging soil, collecting samples and supervising site works. She has also been able to experience in geotechnical work such as foundation design and aspects of mining engineering, as well as environmental and contamination work. “At Wardell Armstrong I am fortunate to be part of an experienced and knowledgeable team who I can learn a lot from and continue to build my knowledge.”

International Women in Engineering Day is celebrated annually on 23rd June. #INWED19

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