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WSP engineer Katie McQuade makes an outstanding impact

WSP engineer Katie McQuade makes an outstanding impact

 October 18, 2022

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Katie McQuade works as an undergraduate engineer in WSP's Local Government Structures team in Northallerton in North Yorkshire, UK.

The Local Government team in the Northallerton office focuses on organising viable community engagement initiatives to celebrate their community, something that continued during the pandemic and beyond.

Katie is one of the many talented women working in STEM careers for prime employer for women, WSP.

Supporting local communities

WSP Katie McQuade engineer

“Giving something back to the community where we live, with the support of local charities, has always been a driving force when I coordinate charity initiatives,” says Katie. 

Katie commenced her career with WSP in 2017 as an apprentice in the Property and Building Team, before transferring to WSP's Local Government Bridge Team in Northallerton in 2020. 

Katie works across several projects with a particular focus on bridge inspections, parapet repair schemes, and bridge assessment work. She is also a Work Order Manager of 30 schemes, managing the team's finances on projects. 

As part of a relatively small local team, Katie is integral to the delivery and management of numerous key structures projects for several Local Authorities, including North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council. 

Supporting WSP's environmental agenda 

Katie also focuses on a variety of extra roles including being Office Charity Champion, STEM Ambassador, Environmental Champion, Local Government Changemaker, and supporting WSP's environmental agenda through delivering Social Value projects. 

These 'extra curriculum' roles have helped Katie build stronger relationships with her colleagues, which in turn, have shaped an office culture where she can confidently discuss and ask questions to produce better outcomes for her clients and the local community. 

Charities have always been close to Katie's heart - especially local charities that depend on people and companies like WSP to provide extra support with their endeavours. "Everyone on the team has a chance to nominate their favourite charity, asking for both local and global charities," explains Katie.

Throughout the pandemic, Katie always found ways to organise events that were COVID-19 safe, where the team could be fully engaged.

"I get an immense amount of support from the team, I always ensure that all the planned charity activities are interactive and enjoyable, always keeping the focus on the main charities at hand, spreading the word of their work to help inspire everyone to get involved. The local government team has always been proactive in being involved,” says Katie.

Community engagement is collaborative

WSP Katie McQuade engineer

Community engagement is fundamentally collaborative. The most impact is achieved when what is aiming to be accomplished is defined in partnership with local communities.

As the office Charity Champion, Katie organises numerous aid events every year, supporting a variety of local charities such as Great North Air Ambulance Service, Lucie's Animal rescue, and Ukraine Relief support, and a local charity which supports those affected by domestic abuse. Katie encourages her colleagues to be proactive with these events and offers much support and encouragement. 

WSP Katie McQuade engineer

Some examples from 2022 activity include initiatives such as:  

  • hosting a food enthusiast guest speaker that saw Katie organise all-you-can-eat buffets in the office, where the team brought in food (whether shop-bought or homemade) to raise funds for  a small animal rescue in Thirsk UK, Lucie's Animal Rescue
  • a further buffet was coordinated for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, fundraising to buy toiletries and further necessities to be provided to people who fled the Ukraine to England for safety, and also to those still living through the war in Ukraine 
  • an office raffle that saw amazing prizes such as pamper gift sets, body care products, and further goodies - plus WSP held an overnight stay with breakfast for two people at a 4-star hotel in Birmingham to raise funds for IDAS, the largest specialist charity in the UK's North supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence
  • charity walks around Roseberry Topping to promote WSP's active ambitions, consisting of a 12km circular walk extended to the team's family members, and fundraising for the Great North Air Ambulance Service

WSP Katie McQuade engineer

Katie's further plans include a series of morning bake sales, further all-you-can-eat buffets, additional charity walks, blind cards, and office tuck shops. 

Besides helping local communities, the team benefits through the important socialising opportunities provided through these events at a time of ongoing hybrid working.  

WSP Katie McQuade engineer

A strong focus on STEM careers

Additionally as a STEM Ambassador, Katie's focus is to encourage colleagues to engage with local schools, colleges, and universities.

Katie is especially keen to promote engineering to both males and females from minority backgrounds and traditionally under-represented groups. 

WSP is a community-focused employer 

Devising solutions to help communities of tomorrow can open up a wide spectrum of career paths.

Working with WSP offers fascinating, absorbing work where employees enjoy the professional and personal rewards that come from solving truly complex issues.

Sound like a great career pathway?

Check out WSP's latest career vacancies available. 


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