Who better to celebrate Women in Engineering Day 2022 with than our own, talented geo-environmental engineers?

As a company, we can proudly state that over 50% of our workforce is female.

What an achievement, particularly since women currently make up just 16.5% of all engineers in the UK, as reported in March 2022 by Engineering UK.

So, we spoke to some of our engineers about their roles and more importantly, what is their go-to movie?

Hannah

Who inspired you to become a geo-environmental engineer? –  In all honesty, I didn’t really know much about the job as a graduate. I researched all my options as I had an interest in the environment and wanted to use my skills from university. The idea of an office job did not appeal to me so, I took a 3-month temporary work experience role at The LK Group. Once I got stuck in with the role, I wanted it to continue because it was interesting and suited me. So, I’d say I was inspired by my fellow geo-environmental engineers and mentors here at The LK Group.

What is the most memorable project that you have played a part in? – It was Rutland Mills in Wakefield. As a history nerd, stepping back in time and getting to work within an old, derelict mill was fascinating. (Minus the pigeons!).

What advice would you give to your younger self? –  Not to stress too much over making mistakes. That’s all part of learning and can be turned into a positive. Also, never forget the sun cream on site!

What is your favourite film? – I’m more of a TV show kind of person these days, so I’m going to go for my favourite childhood film, The Lion King.


 

Rachel

Who inspired you to become a geo-environmental engineer? – I didn’t really know about the role of a geo-environmental engineer until I completed work experience at another consultancy, but I always knew I wanted a job with outdoor work.

What is the most memorable project that you have played a part in? – We completed hundreds of communication tower investigations and these were the most memorable because of the remoteness of some of the locations. One that stands out is working on the Isle of Skye during winter and driving through the snowy highlands. Beautiful!

What advice would you give to your younger self? – Always, always put your waterproofs on in winter, even if you don’t think it’s going to rain!.

What is your favourite film? – I really like the new Dune film, but my all-time favourite has to be The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  


 

Emma

Who inspired you to become a geo-environmental engineer? – My brother-in-law. He owns his own engineering consultancy and put me in contact with the managing director of an environmental consultancy. After two weeks’ work experience, one of them at a complex site in central London with multiple hazards (tube line, unexploded bombs), I was hooked!

What is the most memorable project that you have played a part in? – Before my career as a consultant, I worked as an academic climate change researcher. One of the projects I worked on was an EU Marie Curie project, looking at land-ocean heat exchange between the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, associated with the Agulhas Current. One of the great things about undertaking research is disseminating it to your peers, by presenting key findings at conferences.

What advice would you give to your younger self? – To take every opportunity to learn and travel that crops up while you are young, even if it means learning how to use a rifle and defending yourself from an attacking polar bear. I still really wish I’d gone on that research field trip to Greenland to look at ice rafted debris!

What is your favourite film? – Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!


 

Cath

Who inspired you to become a geo-environmental engineer? – There were several people from my first job after graduating that inspired me and helped decide my career path, including David Waghorn, Sally Shaw and Simon Talbot.

What is the most memorable project that you have played a part in? – That would be a Part 2A site investigation at a former lead mine in Wales, with the highest lead values I’ve ever encountered.

What advice would you give to your younger self? – Don’t put off starting work on your British Geology Society chartership and fully appreciate your life and freedom before you have children. When you think you really need that extra shot at the end of the night, you probably don’t!

What is your favourite film? – Into the West.


 

Andrea

Who inspired you to become a geo-environmental engineer? – No one in particular.

What is the most memorable project that you have played a part in? – A ground investigation for a multi-storey student accommodation in the centre of Huddersfield, where I supervised window sampling and rotary drilling. In one of the locations, we encountered an old stairway leading to the basement of what once was a public house. On one side of the site, bedrock was shallow and on the other it was deep, as it was part of a historic river channel. The student accommodation has since been built and the capping layer in the shared landscaping area was validated by me.

What advice would you give to your younger self? – Take your time and always ask for help.

What is your favourite film? – I have too many but I’m going to say Avatar by James Cameron.


Assunta

Who inspired you to become a geo-environmental engineer? – Since I was 18, I was interested in Earth Sciences, and for my birthday I was given a book by Wilbur Smith called the Diamond Hunters’ by a close friend. I think I was fascinated by wanting to find diamonds. 

What is the most memorable project that you have played a part in? –My most significant experience, was working for Fugro, in their offshore division. I was involved in the new generation of wind farms, and the challenging engineering of the oil and gas. As well as passing my offshore survival course, I also had to overcome the unexpected sea sickness

What advice would you give to your younger self? – To learn all the UK standards and practice from the beginning of studying. Take note of every small and unusual thing you see: it is very likely you see it again.  Be very proactive in your job, this is fundamental for your future. Moving around in your role within the same sector, particularly if you want to excel at being a good leader.

What is your favourite film? – Only Murders in the Buildings! I must have watched 10 times by now!