Isobel Byrne Hill (Grant)

Design manager, Arup

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You can use your talents and skills to make a difference.

What do you do?

I manage and help develop and integrate the designs of around 150 engineers, landscape architects and planners.

Why did you choose this field?

As a 16-year old I was interested in problem-solving. I met an engineer who inspired me in what he was creating. I wanted to do something that was always varied, with an opportunity for creativity - as every solution is unique to the situation - which I found could be possible with a career in civil engineering. I was good at history and music as well as science, and hopefully I bring this and a broader interest in politics to my role.

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

I have had the enormous privilege of designing part of some incredible projects, including the London 2012 Olympic Park, Crossrail, and Heathrow Terminal 5, as well as a rural primary school in Tanzania. I thought civil engineering could be varied, but I never realised I would go on learning and stretching myself to the degree that I have during my career.

Why do you love working in STEM?

There is the wonderful optimism about working in a team to solve practical problems, knowing that your designs may well get built, in concrete or timber or steel, potentially creating new public spaces or transport networks, and helping communities grow and develop.

Best advice for next generation?

You can use your talents and skills to make a difference, developing yourself and helping others at the same time!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"Listen little drop, give yourself without regret and in return you will gain the ocean.” - Rumi

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