Recognising Women in Engineering with the NCE

Last night, we celebrated our new event with the New Civil Engineer in London, Recognising Women in Engineering, and what a fantastic evening it was! The event is so important to us here at Curtins and I’d like to briefly give some context to why.

To do that I want to take you back to the very beginning, when Curtins was set up by Bill Curtin in 1960.  The company started in Bills back bedroom and as the company grew, needed to find real office space.  Bill chose offices on Rodney Street on the south side of Liverpool city centre. Rodney Street is lined with Georgian terraces; and at that time was home to many private medical practices; to such an extent that it was known as the Harley Street of the North.  At that same time, one of Bills closest friends was Fr Jim Dunne, who was parish priest for Toxteth.  Toxteth became well known for the riots in the 1980’s but in the 1960’s was home to a large West Indian immigrant population.  The area was particularly deprived and Bill worked with Fr Dunne to provide opportunities and apprenticeships for young people from the area.  Whilst providing apprenticeships may not be unusual, its difficult to overstate the impact of a young person, from a deprived West Indian immigrant community, wearing a suit, working and walking down the Harley Street of the North, in 1960’s Britain.  It speaks volumes of the courage of Bill Curtin, that he used his business to provide these opportunities and effect change. And its this culture of leading the charge and of fighting the good fight, that still exists in our business today.

The colleagues I was joined by last night embody that will to lead; each of them being leaders in their own field:

Paul Menzies, one of my fellow board directors, who started as an undergraduate over 20 years ago and now plays a leading role in our Curtins Academy; which provides structured training to our graduate intake.

Nushma Juwaheer, who joined us as a graduate almost 2 years ago and now part of the Curtins Academy. Nushma plays a leading role in our CSR and Charity initiatives. She is an active STEM Ambassador and is also part of the Engineers for Overseas Development North West Group, and is currently designing a coffee shelter and storage room for the residents of Mbale in Uganda.

Victoria Checkley, a technical director in our Manchester office who is leading multiple teams of Civil & Structural Engineers in the delivery of some of the largest schemes in the city. Most notably, the £800m Circle Square scheme.

And finally, Rhiannon Cars. Our Head of Marketing and Communications, who is leading our Success for All initiative.

Overall the evening was a huge success and we would like to send our congratulations to all six successful applicants: Amy Wright (Farrans); Antonia Zotali (Canal River Trust) ;Cindy Noble (Department of Infrastructure); Lisa Ingram (Amey plc); Rosa Diez (Mott MacDonald) and Victoria Craig Sellafield Ltd).