Sunday 23 June 2019 is International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) and to mark the occasion, meet Fusion’s Jennie Holloway, who’s 14-year engineering career may not have happened in the first place.
Which town/city were you born in? I grew up in north west London
Where do you live? Northamptonshire
What is your job title and what do you do? I’m AWE1 Package Manager, delivering mitigation works for great crested newts, reptiles, badgers, bats and barn owls.
How long have you been in your field and with Fusion? I started my first job in civil engineering nearly 14 years ago. I’ve worked at Fusion for two years.
How would you explain your job to your son or daughter, a niece or nephew, or another child? I organise construction works with the aim of getting them to happen on time, within budget, and correctly as per the design.
Why did you decide to pursue your career? I decided on civil engineering after considering law(!), graphic design, interior design, then architecture. The skills shortage and ease of getting onto a university course helped make civil engineering attractive.
What was your career plan to get to your job/role? What did you study? After A Levels, I took a gap year and worked for a contractor through the Year in Industry scheme. I then studied a BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) in Civil & Structural Engineering at University of Leeds, sponsored by BAM Nuttall.
Tell us what your day-to-day work is like. Lots of variety. Keeping in touch with my team to make sure they have what they need to progress their work. Planning delivery and managing the contract at package level. Responding to queries from Fusion and HS2. Quite a few meetings: with my immediate team, supply chain, HS2, interface.
What do you like most about your profession? I enjoy the range of opportunities, and the physical results, especially being able to say “I built that.”
What do you like most about working at Fusion? Fusion’s Contract Management Organisation role is different to other projects I’ve worked on, and I wouldn’t get this type of management experience anywhere else.
What experience/project are you proudest of? As a Section Engineer, I delivered a small utilities works package on a site with significant constraints. Completing on time felt like a big achievement: it was the first time I’d been given sole responsibility for delivery.
How would you encourage future generations to pursue your profession? I think the whole perception of civil engineering needs to change, admittedly a big task. Most people just doesn’t understand what we do, so they aren’t aware of the importance of our work, and the career opportunities. When I visit schools, I tell the students that civil engineers save more lives than the medical profession, through provision of utilities, safe infrastructure and buildings.
If someone wanted to pursue the same career as you, what would you recommend studying or doing? What should their career plan look like? Getting a variety of project experience is important, as is working on non-technical skills, for example: written communication, public speaking and management.
Are you planning to study/review anything in the future? I’m an Incorporated Civil Engineer (IEng MICE) and am working towards sitting my Chartered Professional Review with the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do during your free time? I cycle quite a bit, and perform with a concert band.
What book/music/series/movie/sport would you recommend? Book: ‘Bad Science’ by Ben Goldacre. TV series: ‘The Good Place.’
Do you organize events/dinners or get tournaments/activities going with work colleagues? I’m very happy to attend social events but am not usually the one organising them!
If you are interested in finding out more about a career in engineering, whatever your gender or background, please contact our Skills, Employment and Education Manager, Becky Tranter.