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Engineer Maria de la Calle Llario works in WSPs One Water Team

Engineer Maria de la Calle Llario works in WSP's One Water Team

 September 13, 2022

Population growth, climate change, industrial development, financial constraints and ageing water assets continue to put pressure on conventional water and wastewater technologies and infrastructure. As such, working in the field of water can provide a very exciting career path with signigficant and impactful projects. 

Women engineers at WSP

Meet Maria de la Calle Llario who works as a Principal Engineer in WSP's One Water Team. ‘One Water’ is a WSP's approach to cooperatively and holistically managing water systems by connecting the siloed components.

Maria joined WSP in 2019 as part of the Water team in Bristol. Previously, she worked in the Transportation, Water, Infrastructure and Energy sectors, involving some very interesting and challenging projects. There she learnt a great deal from her multidisciplinary experience. 

Developing a thriving career in the water sector 

Balancing her life as a mother and professional engineer, Maria has seen a varied career.

Before joining WSP , Maria was part of the Roads and Networks design team for Hinkley Point C new nuclear reactor in the south-west of England.  

After a year based there, Maria decided on a career change, moving to the Water sector, which is where she sees herself continuing to develop her career.

Always interested in water projects

"I have always been interested in water projects since completing my Masters in Civil Engineering. My first project was the construction of a new clear water main in Spain," explains Maria. 

Since joining WSP, Maria has worked on several sewerage treatment plant design schemes and has also been involved in the HS2 Enabling Works project.

"I have recently been promoted to Principal Engineer and I'm looking forward to being involved in new and exciting projects," remarks Maria.

"Looking back, I’m very proud of what I have accomplished in these last few years within the Water team."

Flexible working is key

In 2020, Maria had a daughter who was born during one of the first lockdowns of the COVID pandemic.

"Due to the restrictions, I went through most of labour alone. Flights were cancelled, so we didn't have any family support. I remember that period of time with the streets of Bristol empty, walking my daughter around to put her to sleep, and just being busy with the feed-nappy-sleep cycle.

"I was happy to come back to work after my maternity leave, but decided to reduce my working hours so that I could also take care of my daughter. The first year in nursery was more difficult than we anticipated, my daughter caught all the viruses and was often sick. During this time, I took on the role of Utilities Manager leading a multidisciplinary team within the HS2 project. 

"This was a challenging role and I had to find the right balance between work and family life, but I am grateful to my Water team who have supported me throughout this journey. I have the flexibility needed for taking care of my daughter, going to the office, or working from home. Living near to the nursery and the office also makes life easier. When I finish work, I can pick my daughter up from nursery and go directly to the park, the playground or the local farm, which we both enjoy very much."

For Maria there have been some some ups and downs, but certainly there has been lots of learning.

Join WSP and work on exciting Water projects 

Water management has become a great concern, and the area presents many impactful career opportunities.

WSP is driven by inspiring future-ready pioneers to innovate.

Join them!  



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