Eleanor Kentish is a project manager at Kier Infrastructure. Here, she discusses how she always knew she wanted to be a civil engineer and how she achieved that goal to now be working on some of Kier Infrastructure’s biggest and most complex projects.

“I was really lucky, and growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a civil engineer. I went the traditional route and did my A-Levels, before undertaking a Master of Engineering, civil and structural engineering degree at the University of Leeds.

During my time at university, I was sponsored by Kier, and I was able to undertake summer placements, which enabled me to apply my practical experience to my studies. When I graduated in 2010, I started working for Kier in its design office, mainly working in the office and dealing with structural engineering and building design.

I was given the opportunity to work on the Crossrail project, where I worked for two-and-a-half years, starting as a SCL shift engineer, before progressing to a section engineer. I loved working on site and really felt that’s where my strengths were.

I moved onto the Deephams Sewage Treatment Works project, where we were delivering a £177m rebuild project of one of London’s largest sewage treatment works. I was at Deephams for a short amount of time, before moving onto the Hinkley Point C project, where in joint venture with BAM we were delivering earthworks. I really enjoyed my time working on the Hinkley Point C project, it’s a key project for the UK and to have played a part in that is really exciting. Currently, I am working as a project manager on another of Kier Infrastructure’s complex projects.

I have had many different roles across varying projects and the teams I have worked in have been key to making my career enjoyable. In the UK, only 12% of engineers are women, and for me, just by being in the industry I am challenging the ‘norm’. Women make a unique impact on a team and diversity in the workplace brings different experience, personalities and ways of thinking together. I see engineering as problem solving, and with more ideas and diversity to work with the industry is better equipped to deliver complex, inclusive and sustainable projects.”