Why did you decide to join Mott MacDonald?
I was looking for a company which would help me realise my ambition of using engineering to help vulnerable communities get access to water and sanitation. Mott MacDonald fitted the bill.
What is the best thing about your role?
My two favourite things are; managing relationships within teams to enable everyone to feel secure and supported so that they can perform their best, and drilling in to technical problems to find the best solutions. Each project I work on presents different challenges, but there is always that mix of team dynamics and technical execution, which is what keeps me motivated.
How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?
Every project I work on combines a different team of people, so that I am constantly amazed at how consistently I find I respect and enjoy the company of the people I work with. There is a persistent culture of supporting each other, and enjoying what we do, which I think must be very rare.
What has been your most memorable project?
I have recently returned from two years in Guyana, on the Caribbean coast of South America, where I led a team delivering the design of a 40km long embankment dam, and associated flood relief channels and infrastructure. The project was technically challenging in that the embankment sat on peat and was built on peat, a notoriously unstable material to build with. The most surprising thing about the project was how similar the topography, embankment design and materials were to projects much closer to home, including many embankment dams in the East Anglian Fens. If it wasn’t for the coconut trees and the caiman I would have thought I was in Cambridgeshire!
When you’re not in the office where can you be found?
I’m afraid I’m very boring these days. When not at work I can generally be found with my husband and our three small children in our garden, planting veggies or building structurally dubious treehouses.
Where is your favourite place?
Until our third child was born, and we finally decided that space was getting too tight, my husband and I lived on a narrow boat in a secluded bit of the Great Ouse, where we would look out of the portholes and see barn owls, kingfishers, deer, mink, herons, black swans and even, once, a seal. It was a wonderfully calm place to live, and is still possibly my favourite place on earth.