Azzahra is approaching three years into her career as a Structural Engineer. During this time, she has worked on numerous building projects across the UK, as well as gaining experience in transport infrastructure in the Middle East.
As part of the Parmarbrook team, Azzahra is currently working on a variety of new build and refurbishment projects in and around London spanning residential, commercial and education sectors. We recently interviewed Azzahra to find out more about why she chose a career as an engineer….
What made you choose engineering as a career?
Like many Structural Engineers, I arrived at this career via Architecture. Throughout schooling, I most enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of Mathematics and the opportunity for creative expression in Fine Art, which made Architecture an easy choice career. During a short placement at an Architectural consultancy before 6th form, I learned that despite my great appreciation for the form and space, I was more intrigued by the skeleton behind the building’s façade, how to make it work and how it would be constructed.
What are the advantages of working in this industry?
It’s an international industry that literally opens up a world of opportunity. Engineers can be working from London on a project in Toronto, or spending a few months in another country to support the design team. Working in this industry gives you the opportunity to be a member of teams that shape, maintain and adapt the built environment for the benefit of people across the globe.
What can be done in the UK to attract more women into engineering?
Provide exposure for women in engineering on platforms which reach younger generations. It’s important to portray the reality that engineering is a truly great career choice for women, and overcome the stereotypes which remain ingrained in our society.
I believe it’s important to ensure young girls are aware of the dynamic career paths engineering can lead to. I try to contribute by attending events held at schools as a STEM ambassador to talk about my work as a Structural Engineer.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Teamwork – it’s great to work in an environment which encourages exchanging ideas and solutions. Fulfillment – being able walk around the city and see a physical manifestation of sketches, calculations and models I spent months/years on, is a unique advantage few jobs can offer.
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