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United Kingdom / Transport / Senior principal engineer

Dr Barnali Ghosh



I am passionate about passing on my knowledge and experiences to future woman engineers to help them better negotiate their career path and achieve their dreams.

Why did you choose to join Mott MacDonald?

I have always wanted to work in a global consultancy where the projects are diverse and technically challenging. I was attracted by the breadth and depth of the experience of the people and the opportunity to influence the design and construction of major projects. I truly believe that as civil engineers we leave a legacy for our future generations.

What is the best thing about your role?

I am currently leading the seismic team at Croydon as a Senior Principal Engineer with specialism in Geo seismic hazards. Our projects are increasingly in seismic areas of the world like Mexico, Jakarta and India. Geotechnical engineers are being asked to design foundations in such areas and our team specialises in understanding and mitigating these ground related seismic risks. My role is an exciting combination of technical and managerial skills with business development objectives by expanding our niche and specialised skills. We support the oil and gas industry, nuclear, buildings and hydropower sectors through our work.

How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?

I work in the Foundation and Geotechnics Division and this is a great place to be. The culture is open and knowledge sharing is encouraged. Everyone is expected to give their best and is guided by the PRIDE principles. There is emphasis on thinking beyond the box and creativity is highly valued. I have found great support from the directors.

How many years have you worked for Mott MacDonald, and what has been your proudest achievement to date?

I started working for Mott MacDonald from November 2012. It is almost a year since I started working in the Croydon/Cambridge office. I have been building a capable seismic team and winning technically challenging work in the last year. The ability to bring all the scattered expertise within the company under a single umbrella is a challenge and I am working towards surmounting that challenge.  I am currently recruiting to expand my team to meet the growing workload. Mott MacDonald has seismic experience in localised offices and I am working with some other colleagues to establish a seismic design excellence centre in UK. As part of this we are also coordinating a seismic discussion group which was established at my initiative. This discussion group aims to bring together all professionals who are working on projects with a seismic design element. 

I have been interviewed by the media (print & television) and have highlighted the great work that Mott MacDonald is doing in mitigating the seismic challenges in different projects all over the world.

Are you involved with any charities or do any volunteer work?

I am a founder member of a voluntary organisation called Indian Cultural Society (www.indianculturalsociety.co.uk). The foremost aim of the society is to promote the richness and diversity of Indian art and culture amongst the local people in Cambridgeshire. It also aims to foster goodwill and harmony between different communities through organizing various festivals and activities. Unity in Diversity is the main theme of the organization and we do several fundraising activities to help different charities.

Who or what inspires you?

Like many woman working full time in senior positions I also struggle with the challenge of coping with the need to become a super mom and super professional. My personal ambition is to somehow find that perfect balance between these contrasting worlds and continue to be a successful role model for women who leave their career mid-way due to family commitments. I am passionate about passing on my knowledge and experiences to future woman engineers to help them better negotiate their career path and achieve their dreams.

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