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BEAR Scotland celebrates International Women in Engineering Day23 Jun 2017

BEAR Scotland takes part in International Women in Engineering Day

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BEAR Scotland celebrates International Women in Engineering Day23 Jun 2017

 

BEAR Scotland manages and maintains over 2000km of trunk roads including over 3000 structures in the north of Scotland.  Our team of engineers work hard to deliver road and bridge maintenance schemes in order to keep the network safe and moving.  

We’re proud to be taking part in International Women in Engineering Day on Friday 23 June to raise the profile and celebrate the achievements of women in engineering and encourage more girls to consider engineering as a career.  We caught up with some of the women in engineering within BEAR Scotland to find out what inspired them to get into engineering, the highlights of their career and the best bits about their role.   

Meet some of the women in engineering within our team:

 

Lilia Bliatsiou

Assistant Bridge Engineer

Lilia graduated with a BSc in Civil Engineering from South Wales University in 2011. Since then she has had a career spanning multiple countries including working at her university’s laboratories in south Wales, followed by three years working in a Roads and Structures team in Greece before joining BEAR Scotland’s Bridges team in 2014.  She is now part of a team responsible for over 2,400 structures in North West Scotland, and completed BEAR’s ICE Graduate Programme in May. 

 

Why engineering, and who inspired you?

Engineering is the best job I could think of when I was applying for universities. You can see your ideas and designs materialise and you can be a part of the whole process from conceptual design to the actual construction. 

Best thing about your job with BEAR:

Being a part of the Bridges team, working on my designs in the office and also being able to go on site for surveys, site supervisions and inspections of structures.

Career highlight: 

Completing BEAR’s ICE Graduate Programme in May this year.

What does it mean to be a woman in engineering?:

An engineer is not defined by gender but by their ability to think critically and solve problems effectively - I think it is just that societal expectations contribute to less women being involved in engineering.

 

 

Amie Matthews

Graduate Engineer

Amie graduated from the University of Dundee in 2014 before working as a CAD Technician and designer for a precast concrete products manufacturing company in Edinburgh for a year and a half, designing concrete flooring and stairs for hotels and flats.  Amie joined BEAR Scotland’s Minor Improvements and Traffic and Road Safety team in 2016 and is currently working on schemes to improve the safety of the trunk road network, and is part of BEAR’s ICE Graduate scheme.

 

Why engineering, and who inspired you?

I always enjoyed school work where it involved designing something, I didn’t mind what it was that I was designing - I just really enjoyed the process and the problem solving. I chose civil engineering because my dad was a civil engineer and inspired me with interesting stories about design problems and how he overcame them.

Best thing about your job with BEAR:

Carrying out accident investigation and prevention studies. It is a very rewarding task as the recommendations I make in the study directly influence the safety of Scotland’s trunk roads.

Career highlight: 

I have only been with BEAR for a year so I have not undertaken any large schemes as of yet, but the general highlight is seeing my design get constructed.

What does it mean to be a woman in engineering?:

It’s just like being a man in engineering...except you happen to be female!

 

 

Julie Lee

Road Maintenance Scheme Designer

Julie has worked for BEAR Scotland for four years since leaving school, starting first as a Roads Inspector for the company before progressing to a Category 2 Designer which involves designing road maintenance schemes and repairs.  Julie is also currently studying towards her HND in Civil Engineering at Dundee and Angus College.

 

Why engineering, and who inspired you?

I knew I wanted to have a career in engineering since I was at school, one of my technology teachers influenced me and encouraged me to go for it.

Best thing about your job with BEAR:

I get the opportunity to design small schemes to help and improve the trunk road network in the north west of Scotland.

Career highlight: 

When BEAR gave me the opportunity to study Civil Engineering which led to me furthering my career within the company.

What does it mean to be a woman in engineering?

I think it’s great and women should not be put off by the fact that there are more men within the industry.

 

 

Kristen Milne

Road Maintenance Scheme Coordinator

Kristen is BEAR Scotland’s coordinator for all road maintenance schemes and repairs in the north west of Scotland that are classed as category 1 or 2 projects.  She leads a team of designers who work on engineering projects which can vary significantly in size and nature, allowing plenty of opportunity to expand her expertise in the field. These projects are vital in ensuring the safety of the trunk road network in Scotland.

 

Why engineering, and who inspired you?

I have been involved in the engineering sector for most of my working career.  When an opportunity arose to have an active role in BEAR Scotland’s design office, I took it.  

Best thing about your job with BEAR:

No one day is the same in my role as the unpredictable nature of the Scottish weather can have a dramatic effect on the day to day work. In spite of the challenges of working in such a reactive role, working with good colleagues and different teams across the company makes the role enjoyable. 

Career highlight: 

Progressing from a scheme Designer to Coordinator of road maintenance schemes at BEAR.

What does it mean to be a woman in engineering?

I’m part of an industry which is both challenging and empowering all at the same time, and I hope more women get involved.

 

 

Marta Ibanez

Environmental Advisor

Marta works as part of the Environmental team at BEAR Scotland, a core team that helps ensure all of BEAR’s work is environmentally friendly and sustainable. Before joining BEAR two years ago, Marta worked for two years with two leading logistics companies in Spain implementing Environmental Management Systems.

 

Why engineering, and who inspired you?

My background is in Environmental Sciences, so although I did not study engineering I’ve chosen to work in the civil engineering field to influence engineers regarding environmental protection.  My biggest inspiration behind my career choice was my mother. She always encouraged me to leave my mark and change the environment for the better and challenge others around me to do the same. 

Best thing about your job with BEAR:

Working with colleagues with diverse backgrounds, nationalities and interests.

Career highlight: 

Attaining my Associate professional qualification from the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).

What does it mean to be a woman in engineering?

It means the same as being a woman in any other field. In every field however women are still getting paid less than men, fulfil less management positions and have to fight several barriers - and this is something which needs to be talked about and addressed.

 

 

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BEAR Scotland North West Unit – List of Significant Works Planned May 2017 to July 201705 Jun 2017

BEAR Scotland North West Unit – List of Works Significant Works Planned May 2017 to July 2017

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BEAR Scotland North West Unit – List of Significant Works Planned May 2017 to July 201705 Jun 2017

BEAR Scotland North West Unit – List of Works Significant Works Planned May 2017 to July 2017

Availabe to download below is a list of some of the major work planned by BEAR Scotland in the North West over the next three months.

Please note the following:

This is not an exhaustive list and other works may be added to the programme.

All dates are indicative and are subject to change.

For road closures, consultation is carried out with relevant parties. Following this consultation the dates of works and type of traffic management used may be changed.

Real time journey information is available from Traffic Scotland www.trafficscotland.org or twitter @trafficscotland.  

 

downloadBEAR Scotland North West Planned works May 2017 - July 2017.pdf

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BEAR Scotland team takes on Stirling Scottish Marathon challenge18 May 2017

BEAR Scotland team takes on Stirling Scottish Marathon challenge

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BEAR Scotland team takes on Stirling Scottish Marathon challenge18 May 2017

BEAR Scotland team takes on Stirling Scottish Marathon challenge

Team is raising funds for ARC, charity that helped out a BEAR colleague

 

A team from Perth-based BEAR Scotland is getting ready to take on the first ever Stirling Scottish Marathon on Sunday 21 May to raise funds for charity.

The group of six come from across all departments in BEAR Scotland, with five taking part in a marathon for the first time. 

The team are taking on the 26.2 mile course to raise funds for ARC – Antenatal Results and Choices.  The charity provides advice and support for parents, families and professionals during the antenatal screening process who have received the devastating news that their pregnancy is not progressing as expected, and there is a risk their baby has a serious fetal anomaly. 

ARC was the nominated charity of choice after the organisation provided invaluable support towards one of BEAR Scotland’s staff and their family after they lost their daughter during pregnancy last year, and the charity still continues to offer support and help to them today.  

Parts of the 26.2 mile route through Stirling are on roads that BEAR Scotland is responsible for - the A84 and a very small part of the A9. So, after some gentle persuasion, six willing volunteers came forward to take on the challenge and get involved!

The group have set up a Virgin Money fundraising page to raise funds for the cause, which has so far topped £1000 in donations.  

Ryan Newman, Network Officer at BEAR Scotland, is one of the group taking on his first ever marathon. He said: “The idea was prompted after the race organisers contacted our BEAR colleagues to plan the event. Running a marathon is one of the things that’s been on my bucket list for a while and, after chatting with some other people in the office, we thought it would be great to enter as a group together to raise money for ARC in support of one of the team here at BEAR.

“We’ve been training since December. Everyone has been putting the miles in to get ready for Sunday’s event.  That being said, I am certainly looking forward to crossing the finish line!”

Mark Godsell, BEAR Scotland’s Commercial Director, said: “We’re delighted that members of our company are getting involved in the event and raising funds for a very worthy cause, particularly since the course takes part on some of BEAR’s trunk roads!

“The team have been training hard and getting some great support from the rest of the company as well as friends and family. We wish them all the very best of luck on Sunday.”

The team is made up of Ryan Newman, Stuart Earl, Theo Spinoulas, Gerard Kelly, Lesley Pirie and Laura Donaldson.

To sponsor the team visit their Virgin Money Giving Page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/bearscotlandstirlingmarathon  

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North West Connections - the latest news from the North West Unit12 May 2017

Welcome to the spring issue of North West Connections, BEAR Scotland’s North West Stakeholder Newsletter

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North West Connections - the latest news from the North West Unit12 May 2017

Welcome to the spring issue of North West Connections, BEAR Scotland’s North West Stakeholder Newsletter.  You can read it here!

Read about BEAR Scotland's work in managing and maintaining trunk roads in the North West of Scotland.  In this issue you can read about our latest investments on our network, meet our newly-named spreaders that joined our fleet prior to winter and find out more about some of our community involvement projects.  

You can also keep up to date with BEAR Scotland’s activity in the North West via Twitter @NWTrunkRoads.  

Look out for the North East newsletter which will be available shortly!

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New bridge opens to traffic on A83009 Dec 2016

New bridge opens to traffic on A830

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New bridge opens to traffic on A83009 Dec 2016

Ranochan Bridge opens to traffic on the Road to the Isles

 

The newly built Ranochan Bridge has opened to traffic along the scenic A830 following six months of construction.  

The bridge is the fourth structure to be rebuilt on the route in the past two years following a commitment from Transport Scotland to improve road safety.  

The new bridge, approximately six miles west of Glenfinnan, was carefully constructed over six months, with stone used from the old bridge incorporated into the new design to ensure the bridge was in keeping with its scenic surroundings.  

A temporary bridge was constructed as a diversion for motorists while the old bridge was demolished and replaced. This continued Transport Scotland’s policy to ensure disruption to motorists was minimised as much as possible.

The newly built structure and approaches provides a wider carriageway and verges, improved alignment and vehicle containment and its low maintenance design will help ensure the structure continues to function safely for years to come and helps future-proof this vital arterial link.  

Ranochan Bridge follows on from works completed at Dearg Bridge in December 2014, and Utha and Garbh Bridges at the end of 2015.  Also, works are currently ongoing at a fifth new structure at Arieniskill, three miles to the west of Ranochan Bridge, with construction expected to be completed in the New Year.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said:

“This is the fourth structure to be replaced in this ambitious £10 million project to improve the A830, which is one of Scotland’s most scenic routes.

“Everything possible is being done to minimise disruption for the communities along the way and the use of temporary bridges is a demonstration of the innovative thinking of our Civil Engineers as they take forward the refurbishment of nine of these structures.

“The programme is continuing at pace and the next stage will see the opening of the new Arieniskill Bridge which we are expecting in the early New Year.”

Commenting on the opening of Ranochan Bridge, Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “We are pleased to open the newly built Ranochan Bridge, which marks the fourth A830 structure to be completed in our bridge replacement programme.

“As with the previous bridges, we’ve made sure to limit any impact to motorists as much as possible by erecting temporary bridges next to the construction of the new bridges to ensure access on the A830 was maintained at all times.

“We also recycled some of the stone from the old bridge into the new design to make sure it fits in with the beautiful area.

“We hope the local community will be pleased with the new bridge at Ranochan, and look forward to completing works at Arieniskill Bridge in the New Year.”

Minor works will continue for a few weeks beyond the initial opening with a lane closure in place to allow removal of the temporary bridge and associated road diversion next to the new structure.  

Design is underway for the next two bridges in the programme following the completion of Ranochan and Arieniskill, with construction due to begin at Criche Bridge in 2017 and Shlatach Rail Bridge in 2018.  

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BEAR Scotland ready to tackle winter08 Nov 2016

BEAR Scotland ready to tackle winter

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BEAR Scotland ready to tackle winter08 Nov 2016

BEAR SCOTLAND READY TO TACKLE WINTER

56,600 tonnes of salt ready to treat routes across North East & North West

 

BEAR Scotland’s winter maintenance services are fully underway on the trunk roads it maintains in Scotland; with 56,600 tonnes of salt in stock ready to tackle the wintry conditions.  

Met Office yellow ‘be aware’ warnings are in place for snow and sleet across parts of Scotland including the Highlands, Grampian and Central areas, particularly on higher ground, from Tuesday 3pm until Wednesday at 10am and BEAR Scotland teams are on stand-by to tackle the wintry weather. 

A new, online 'gritter tracker' is now available on the Traffic Scotland website giving the public live data on the location of BEAR’s winter vehicles.

BEAR’s winter maintenance team will also work around the clock to analyse detailed weather forecasts and information from 86 roadside weather stations to ensure treatments are carried out as necessary. 

The forecasts and data are used to decide when routes require salt treatment on the trunk roads BEAR maintains in the North East and North West of Scotland.

There are 94 vehicles involved in carrying out precautionary winter treatments, patrols and snow clearance on the 2,448km of trunk roads maintained by BEAR in the north of Scotland. 

Brian Gordon, BEAR Scotland’s Managing Director, said: “We have over 180 dedicated, trained and experienced employees ready to deal with winter across the trunk roads that we maintain in Scotland. Our winter control room monitors road conditions on a 24/7 basis meaning we can act quickly to changing winter weather conditions.

“Tuesday night into Wednesday morning is likely to see the first forecasted snow and sleet across some higher-up routes in Scotland.

“As ever, we ask members of the public to ensure their vehicle is well maintained, that they pay close attention to local and national media and information to help plan journeys during inclement weather and that they carry equipment to help themselves should conditions deteriorate.”

 

TIPS FOR DRIVING IN WINTER:

Allow more time for your journey 

Listen to local and national radio for travel and weather information 

Slow down and leave increased distance between you and the vehicle in front. 

Be prepared when travelling. Keep the following in your vehicle:-

o Ice scraper 

o De-icer 

o Torch 

o Warm clothes including gloves and hats 

o Blanket 

o Shovel 

o Food & drink 

o High visibility jacket 

o First aid kit 

Check: 

o Your tyres are at the correct pressures and have good tread. 

o Your vehicle lights are clean and working. 

o Your wiper blades are effective. 

o Your battery is in good condition and fully charged. 

o Your vehicle anti-freeze is the right concentration (Your garage can do this for you). 

o Your windows and mirrors are clear of ice or condensation. 

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