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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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