Becky Drew

Graduate Structural Engineer, Curtins

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Your career may be waiting for you in unlikely places.

What do you do?

As a structural engineer, I am responsible for the design of the inner skeleton of the building such as stability, foundations, floors, beams while the architect designs how the building will look and the overall layout. I use a mix of hand calculations and computer software to complete the design and I also construct finite element models to complete the analysis. As a graduate, I work on a mix of small projects where I have a lot of responsibility and large projects where i work as part of a group of engineers with a small area of responsibility.

Why did you choose this field?

My parents always encouraged me to keep my options open at A level while I was adament I wanted to go down a very different career route. However, that clearly wasn't going to work out soon after starting sixth form and I managed to get work experience at Curtins through a family connection. On that week, i realised that i enjoyed the challenges and logic required in structural engineering so decide to persue it. I completed more work experience and explored the other areas of engineering. however, structures was still my favourite discipline as I enjoyed being able to see the buildings grow and the variety of projects

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

My first project that I had completed the majority of the design on went to site in the autumn of 2019 and it was the first proud moment for me knowing I had completed my first building.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love the variety of the job - there is never the same project twice! There's always new challenges to figure out. I also love the wide range of people you get to meet. As a structural engineer, you get to work with a wide variety of people including architects, contractors, development managers and local council.

Best advice for next generation?

If you haven't figured out what you want to do, keep your options open and try get experience wherever you can as your career may be waiting for you in unlikely places.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“Mistakes are opportunites to learn and grow.”

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