Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Get into engineering. Laing O'Rourke's Anna Louise Wylie shares her journey.

Anna Louise Wylie attended Future Female Engineers with event partners Laing O'Rourke to talk to female undergraduates and share her experiences of working in this sector. Read below to find out more about how she got into it and what working at Laing O'Rourke is like. 

Anna Louise Wylie, Assistant Digital Engineer
at Laing O'Rourke
I am Anna Louise Wylie, and I am currently working as an Assistant Digital Engineer at Laing O’Rourke.
This role is part of Pricing and Digital Engineering, and I work within the post-win team (mainly covering projects where a contract has been awarded, rather than bids).
The team consists of around 15 people across the UK who provide BIM support, training and on site facilitation.
I am also on the Graduate Development scheme at Laing O’Rourke, part of a 50 strong cohort. We are working towards training and development goals, and towards our respective professional qualifications.

My journey 
I completed a Masters in Environmental Engineering at Southampton University. This is where I first heard of Laing O’Rourke, and subsequently applied to their undergraduate programme. After passing my assessment, I completed two summers of work with the company during my studies, and learnt as much in those eight weeks as I did in a year at University.
I had always been interested in BIM, and attend whatever lectures and events I could to learn more. I included it as an aspiration in my application to be a site engineer with Laing O’Rourke, and was very surprised when my contact came through with the title ‘assistant digital engineer’. They had also picked up on my interest in sustainability, STEM and leadership, as well as industry experience. Following a quick conversation with the team leader, I was relocated to Manchester and began in September as one of the first direct entries to the team.

A day in the life 
The role of Digital Engineers within Laing O’Rourke is varied, and depends on the projects they are involved in. Typically, about half the time is spent in the office, working to manage models, information and collaborative platforms. We also conduct in-house training with relevant disciplines. While on site we give hands on advice on how to improve works through the uptake and application of BIM, answering questions and helping solve issues, as well as assisting with hardware and software management.
As a woman within this company you are well respected, and given the chance to prove yourself just the same as any other employee. Construction can be a tough; however, it is highly rewarding and certainly moving in the right direction in terms of what it offers to women.

What about the Future Female Engineers event? 
The opportunities like the Future Female Engineers event are fantastic, as they provide a network of contacts, role models and lessons learnt. It isn’t easy to find support or experience of engineering, but these events can provide opportunities for discussion, learning and guidance. There are great opportunities within the industry for women to progress and these events ensure anyone who is considering a career in engineering has the best understanding to pursue it.

If you are feeling inspired, why not take a look at our Future Female Engineers event or the Undergraduate of the Year Award

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