20th June 2022

Meet the team: Connie Rowe, Graduate Engineer

This week, we’re celebrating the amazing work of our female engineers across our UK projects in support of International Women in Engineering Day on the 23rd June.

Throughout this week, on the occasion of International Women in Engineering Day on the 23rd June, some of our female engineers will be talking about their roles within our exciting industry. 

To get us started, Connie Rowe, Graduate Engineer explains more about her role and pathway into engineering.  

Can you tell us about your career journey, from studies to present role?

I graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a 1st Class Degree in ‘BSc (Hons) Construction Management’ in 2021.  As part of my degree, I undertook a placement year with Sir Robert McAlpine. Following my studies, I joined as ‘Graduate Engineer’ on the Hockley Mills project in Birmingham. I was recently awarded the ‘CIOB Certificate of Excellence’ in recognition of achieving the highest mark on my degree course.

Can you tell us more about your current role as Graduate Engineer?

Currently my key focus is the management of the brickwork package. I start my day by logging progress, labour numbers and other notable items onto site diary. From this, my tasks for the day are usually outlined, ranging from quality checks, investigating design issues, preparing areas for works, overcoming logistical challenges and liaising with site personnel.

A typical ‘day-to-day’ is difficult to define as every day brings its own challenges and duties, something which appealed to me when I first explored a career in construction and something which I enjoy till today.

What projects have you worked on during your time at Sir Robert McAlpine? 

During my placement year I mainly conducted engineering surveying works and assisted in package management. Once I had completed my studies, I began on the Hockley Mills project in Birmingham where I have been for the past year.

Hockley Mills has helped me to gain knowledge of the reinforced concrete frame, brickwork and fit-out. My experience so far has contributed greatly to my personal and professional development.

What is your first memory of wanting to be an engineer?

Growing up I loved watching ‘Grand Designs’ and the process of constructing something from nothing. I knew I wanted to work in construction from the age of 8, but I had never been told what the different roles were and didn’t know who I could ask. After doing my own research and getting work experience in a property development office when I was 16, I realised that I wanted a site-based role.

What do you enjoy most about being an engineer?

A highlight for me is the people who I work with. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked on projects where the teams have been encouraging and supportive. Initially, it was intimidating to walk onto a site with no experience or idea of the workplace culture, however thanks to those who have encouraged me, I have identified my way of working, built my confidence and can walk onto site knowing that I play an important role on the project.

What are your career goals, i.e. where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I would like to be chartered with the CIOB and have progressed throughout my career to roles with higher responsibility, such as a ‘Section Engineer’. A long-term goal is to become a ‘Project Manager’.

What advice would you give to those considering a career in engineering?

I think it’s important to understand the role and what it entails, whilst also bearing in mind that this will vary from company to company and project to project. The best way to ensure that a career in engineering is for you, is to experience it first-hand. I think that getting as much work experience as you can is beneficial and insightful, even if it is only for a couple of days.

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