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Helena Rivers is changing the perception of engineering

Helena Rivers is changing the perception of engineering

 June 15, 2017

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In her role as Regional Director, Asset Advisory, Buildings + Places at AECOM, Helena Rivers manages a multidisciplinary team of engineers, building surveyors and project managers who manage all elements of construction projects from inception to completion.

"I knew from when I was about 15 that a career in engineering was for me albeit I had no idea which specialism. I was drawn by the ability to apply problem solving skills to everyday life challenges. I love being able to draw on such a broad range of experts within AECOM. If a client has a project which is challenging because it’s on a pontoon we have the relevant expert, if the challenge is that it’s grade 1 listed we have an expert for that too. As I’ve moved into a less technical, more managerial role I still get to solve problems and help clients deliver their projects.

Engineering is for all

"I wish more people knew what a varied career engineering offers with chances for creativity, analysis, brain storming, team working and planning there is a lot more to it than people realise. My proudest career achievement to date is my election onto the trustee board of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. I started off my career following graduation working in the nuclear sector, looking for the safest ways to robotically decommission nuclear laboratories, now I’m focussed on public sector small scale construction projects, who knows what’s around the corner. Both professionally and personally I am very much a glass half, full let’s give it a go sort of a person."

Hopes for the future of women in engineering

"I would love to change the perception of Engineering to attract the best young people to pursue an engineering career. I think the exciting, varied, rewarding career that engineering offers is one of Britain’s best kept secrets. We need to educate our children about when engineering has to offer and we need to educate their parents and teachers so they can answer their questions!"

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