Take A Closer Look: Beck Drew, Graduate Engineer

Over the next few months we will be shining a spotlight on some of our Graduate Engineers as we celebrate the Year of Engineering. Our aim is to take a closer look at those who have just started their Engineering careers – to find out what inspired them to choose this exciting career path, and to see how they have found life as an engineer so far! We’ve also thrown in a few questions just for fun…

This week we sat down with Becky Drew, a Graduate Engineer based in our Birmingham Office.

What area of engineering do you specialise in?

Structures

 What is your favourite aspect of the job?

The variety of things you are able to do within engineering is huge – even within structures, there is always something different or new to challenge me.

 What has been the biggest achievement in your career so far?

I’ve only been a graduate for six months so my career has only just started! I suppose it would be issuing the building calculations for the project I’m currently working on or seeing the RC slabs I designed for a high rise development in Birmingham be poured. I also got elected to the West Midlands ICE Graduates & Students committee so I’m involved with planning the ICE President’s visit in May which is exciting.

 What daily challenges do you face?

Timing is often the biggest challenge as you can be working to short deadlines to meet contractor and client needs. I’m also learning on the job a lot of the time which can be a bit stressful if combined with a tight deadline. It’s also a challenge trying to find a design that is both economic for the client and structurally sound for us sometimes which can take a lot of thinking and option appraisals before a solution can be found.

 Where did you graduate from?

I graduated summer 2017 from the University of Birmingham  with MEng Civil Engineering with Industrial Experience (Hons).

 What subjects did you take at GSCE level?

Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English Lit, English Lang, Maths, Statistics, IT, History, Geography, German and Art.

 Favourite school subject?

It was always history until I reached sixth form college, then it became maths.

 Why did you become an engineer? What inspired you?

It was actually due to not liking history when I got to A levels! I originally planned to become a historian but found I was more suited to maths and physics with the logic and organisation so looked into careers combining the two. I was offered some work experience at the Manchester office of Curtins and after a week there, I knew that this was something I enjoyed and would challenge me. My mentors at Manchester were the ones who inspired me to consider engineering as a career and five years later, here I am!

 If you could give your school aged self career advice, what would it be?

Work hard,dream big and always make sure you are doing something because you enjoy it, not because someone told you to!

 Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

received a Diploma in Classical Singing from the London College of Music when I was 16 so applied to university as Rebecca Drew DipLCM.

 Do you have any hobbies?

Singing, violin, piano, baking, cooking, board games and I am a self confessed Netflix binger.

 Favourite song?

Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked (the original Broadway cast or Kerry Ellis version, I can’t choose between them).

 Favourite film?

Les Misérables despite Russell Crowe’s singing.

 Finally, what are your goals for 2018?

Sing at the BBC Proms with my choir and travel abroad more!