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Graduates investing in a net-zero future

Rebecca Stubbs is in the running to be New Civil Engineer magazine’s graduate of the year for 2019. We caught up with Rebecca to hear about the life of a graduate at Mott MacDonald.

"Sustainability and climate consideration are much higher on the agenda at Mott MacDonald compared with our competitors. This has really allowed me to pursue my passion to make a difference to our future and the way we work in our industry. Working in sports venues gives me a huge public platform to make a real impact."

What planted the seed for you to pursue a career in engineering?

‘I remember watching Richard Hammond’s Engineering Connections on TV as a teenager and thought that’s really cool seeing the wide variety of opportunities out there to make a real different within the built environment. It piqued my interest in engineering, especially the structural side.’

Rebecca completed a civil engineering degree at the University of Bristol and then spent a year in Australia on a year abroad, as well as completing a sponsored internship over in Melbourne. During this time, she helped contribute to several projects, including bridges, ports and government buildings.

It’s a competitive market for graduates in engineering, what made you choose Mott MacDonald over the others?

‘One of the main reasons I wanted to join Mott MacDonald was for the variety of projects we work on. Being given the freedom and flexibility to move to other areas of interest, and still progress my career.’

Joining the team in 2017 as a structural engineer. Rebecca is now a consultant working with the advisory team, predominantly within low carbon advisory and net-zero alignment across a variety of sectors, from residential to healthcare and sports and events facilities.

‘Sustainability and climate consideration are much higher on the agenda at Mott MacDonald compared with our competitors. This has really allowed me to pursue my passion to make a difference to our future and the way we work in our industry. Working in sports venues gives me a huge public platform to make a real impact.’

Rebecca is now committed to driving sustainability awareness and engagement in our buildings and infrastructure unit and is the early careers professional sustainability lead.

‘I see the SDGs as a core part of the business and what really makes Mott MacDonald different. Focusing on leveraging our indirect impacts and outcomes of projects on people and the planet makes the truly sustainable and brilliant stories, regardless of scale.’

The rise in the use of digital tools within sustainability and environment will accelerate the speed of the work we do, enabling us to calculate and communicate our findings more rapidly. We are now working closely with our digital ventures team to help us to create new tools and most importantly share this knowledge publicly to make a wider impact to change globally.

What would someone who has never met you find most surprising?

‘I’m a keen triathlete and have recently competed at the European Championships in Holland. I value a good work-life balance and having focused goals both in and out of work. Over the winter I will be training for my first marathon in Manchester in April. I’m glad I have the flexibility around work to help prepare!’

You’ve had a very successful career to date. What are your goals for the future?

‘I would like to continue my focus on carbon management and net-zero and raising awareness across the engineering industry as well as using our voice more proactively with the public. Where that route takes me can change from day to day because it’s a rapidly shifting market, with new information and new opportunities emerging all the time.’

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