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Engineer Amy Lakey thrives in WSPs One Water Team

Engineer Amy Lakey thrives in WSP's One Water Team

 November 02, 2022

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Channeling her passion and interests into a dream job sees WSP engineer Amy Lakey thriving in a fast-paced career, where she's constantly learning so many new things each day. 

Working within WSP's One Water Team, Amy Lakey, was always passionate about Geography at school and the best topics always involved water and rivers. 

“My flooding case studies were the ones I remembered the most facts about for my school exams, and these were the modules that I chose to focus on at university,” reflects Amy. 

Amy studied Geography at the UK's Northumbria University, then continued her studies at the University of Nottingham through a master’s degree in Environmental Management.

Finding her feet in a graduate engineer role 

WSP Amy Lakey

Amy initially went to university to study International Business Management as she was unsure what she wanted her career to look like. In fact, if it wasn’t for her geography teacher telling her during her first year of studies that they were surprised she hadn’t gone on to study Geography, Amy would never have made the decision to restart university the following year on a Geography course. 

“My teacher was right. She knew, better than me, that a degree and going on to have a career in what I loved most was the most important aspect. Finishing university, I was still unsure where my career would head, but finding my feet in a graduate engineer role soon set me up,” explains Amy. 

“I barely even knew what a hydraulic model was on my first day, and the first few months were daunting at times, but I was learning every day, and it was brilliant.”

Working with water presents exciting career prospects 

Amy’s eyes were suddenly opened to what the water industry was all about. And her interest in water and the career paths she didn’t know existed, became exciting prospects. 

“Being part of WSP has provided me with so much more than simply learning about the water industry. My time at WSP has shown me how the world of consultancy works, and the range of people involved,” says Amy. 

“Engaging with people outside my direct team and working on multidisciplinary projects has broadened my understanding of the built environment and led to me expanding the areas in which I work.”

During her time at WSP in the Water Risk Management and Engineering team, Amy has been able to work on a variety of projects in a number of different roles. During the early part of her career, she focused on hydraulic modelling, hydrology, and Flood Risk Assessments. As Amy becomes more experienced in these fields, she is able to support newer members of staff. "When individuals come to me with questions, it has increased my confidence that I am in the career I want to remain in for a long time," says Amy. "More recently, I have been drawing back on my university studies carrying out Geomorphology Assessments, Biodiversity Net Gain Assessments, and WFD." 

“I even needed to get out some of my old university textbooks, which emphasises to me that, even four years into my career, there is still scope to learn so much more.”

WSP offers the freedom to explore a range of work

WSP Amy Lakey

WSP's One Water Team has provided Amy with the freedom to explore a wide range of work opportunities, and the variety of work certainly keeps her interested and eager to learn. 

“I enjoy the extra-curricular aspects of my job.  For example, I have taken on the lead PGN and Social role within the UK's Derby office shortly after joining WSP. Additionally, I've been sitting on the Early Career Professionals Steering Group for Water for the past 18 months. I look forward to continuing these roles as well as seeing where my technical career will head,” explains Amy.  

Amy s currently working towards her Chartered status with the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), plus she is increasingly becoming more involved in project management.

Developing leadership skills outside of work 

WSP Amy Lakey

Outside of work, Amy captains the Derby Women’s Rugby team and hopes that the leadership skills she has been developing in this role will also help her in her future career. 

“Rugby is a great team sport. Learning how to bounce back after a loss, and keep my team focused, are very similar aspects to challenges that sometimes need to be overcome in the work environment too,” shares Amy. 

“Encouraging women in the workplace is just as important to me as helping to grow women in sport, as the benefits I get mentally and physically from being in a team sport absolutely translate into the resilience and motivation that I feel within my work, and vice versa,” she says. 

Join WSP and embark on an exciting career 

Interested in a career in water?

WSP offers a plethora of job opportunities on exciting projects, so check out the latest job vacancies available with this prime employer for women. 


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