Alexa Bruce, a water engineer for Arup in London is thrilled to be working in a graduate role for a world leading engineering and consultancy firm, and she has worked hard to achieve her goal. “I tend to set my heart on one thing and go for it. I came into contact with Arup a number of times throughout my University degree including during my final year project. I was drawn to the culture and people.”
Alexa completed her Masters in Environmental Engineering at UCL in 2014. During her time at UCL she was placed third as one of six finalists of the New Civil Engineer (NCE) Graduate of the Year Award. She was also recognised by the Royal Academy of Engineering as a Leadership Award Holder, a programme to provide support and motivation to some of the most exceptional engineering undergraduates in UK universities.
Engineers Without Borders UK
It was during this time that Alexa became involved in “Engineers Without Borders UK”, a fantastic organisation addressing complex engineering challenges on a global scale. Alexa was lucky enough to work with a team of volunteers on a dry composting toilet project in Peru as well as a sanitation project in Kenya. Upon returning she was elected onto the Board of Trustees of Engineers without Borders UK in December 2014.
Arup looks for bright graduates with a curious mind and a head full of ideas to join their firm. Graduates with excellent technical skills and a drive to keep exploring are provided with the support and opportunities they need for a challenging and fulfilling career. “I enjoy the variety,” Alexa explains, “There are lots of opportunities to work on some exciting, high profile and challenging projects. I'm currently on a project team working with Scottish Enterprise looking at the competitiveness of the Scottish water technology market globally. I've also just completed a surface water management design for a university campus in Tanzania.”
Engineering as a creative career
Alexa is passionate about creative problem solving. “I actually grew up wanting to be on stage - bad idea! I only decided to go into engineering at 18 when I had discovered the profession existed. A family friend who is a disaster relief engineer opened my eyes to the profession. I think we tend to put engineering into a box, but it can fulfil you creatively, particularly at Arup. It's a very flat organisation with little sense of hierarchy. I really enjoy the concept development phase of a project, the creative problem solving, strategy and design. We're encouraged to be curious and bring ideas to the table.”
Alexa recognises she has already experienced a very rewarding career gaining skills and working in different countries on high profile projects. “I'm passionate about travel, I spent my first five years in the Dominican Republic, and my parents both had international careers. My career reflects my love of different countries, cultures, people and experiences. I acknowledge I am very lucky to be able to do this!”
Alexa is an inspiring role model to all young women looking for a challenging and fulfilling career - National Women in Engineering Day is about making these women visible to the next generation of future engineers.
If you’re interested in exploring a graduate career and working on high profile, exciting projects, perhaps Arup is for you. Learn more about them and explore their range of exciting careers.
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