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AECOMs Kim Timm wins SAPSA Woman Professional of the Year

AECOM's Kim Timm wins SAPSA Woman Professional of the Year

 June 25, 2020

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Kim Timm (Pr Eng), Executive – Structures, Buildings and Places at infrastructure delivery company AECOM, has been bestowed the title of Woman Professional of the Year.

The South African Professional Services Awards (SAPSA), sponsored by Sanlam and W. Consulting, sees professionals from a wide range of companies compete for the prestigious title.

"Thank you very much for the absolute honor of being given this Award as Woman Professional of the Year," said Kim. "It's really rewarding ... to be a role model and to be able to show people that you can achieve this, and that women professionals are an important part of the society we live in ... I just want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity ..."

Leadership and innovation are key

Janette Minnaar, chair of the adjudication panel, explains how the winners were determined: “Individuals were judged based on a host of attributes, including demonstration of leadership skills, changing of paradigms and innovation within the bounds of available resources.”

Size and diversity of projects appeal to Kim

AECOM Kim Trimm

Kim has a BSc Eng (Civ) from the University of Cape Town and a MSc Eng (Civ) from the University of Stellenbosch.

Describing herself as an all-rounder, she has worked on both heavy and light industrial, retail, commercial and residential projects.

"I enjoy the size and diversity of the projects and the teams we get to work with," explains Kim.

A recent flagship project for Kim was the challenging dolomitic ground conditions at the site of the new Lakeside head office in Centurion, Pretoria for resources company Exxaro. Here AECOM collaborated closely with AMA Architects to optimise the building design.

Further award recognition

Kim has previously been recognised within her profession as a finalist for the Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Young Engineer of the Year Award in 2010.

In 2019, she was recognised by CESA as Mentor of the Year. She recently co-authored two papers at an international conference in Nantes, France.

Helping shape their careers and futures of others

AECOM Kim Trimm

Commenting on her mentoring role, she highlights: “I love seeing the passion and enthusiasm the candidates bring to the industry. It is highly rewarding to have the opportunity to help shape their careers and futures. They challenge me to reassess my own views and opinions, and our relationship hence becomes a partnership that we all learn from."

Kim adds: “When I started working in this industry, I was frequently the only woman engineer that the contractors had ever met. This situation caused several early misunderstandings. I found that over time, as I became more experienced and more women joined the profession, it has become easier.

"There is definitely still bias around gender in the industry, and this will take time to change. I've always believed that the only way I will change the misconception that women 'belong in engineering is to be the best engineer that I can possibly be. It makes it a lot harder for people to argue the point if you are living evidence that they are incorrect,” Kim concludes.

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