International Women in Engineering Day 2019
SYSTRA Principal Civil Engineer, Nuria Molina, has 13 years’ experience of working with clients, design consultancies and construction companies.
Nuria has worked on major schemes and interdisciplinary projects in both Spain and the UK, including HS2 Euston Station Enabling Works. Here, Nuria shares her advice and learnings from her journey in engineering so far.
Did you always know that you wanted to work in engineering? What made you choose this field?
Engineering literally means “making things happen”. In a very basic sense, engineering is the practical application of science and mathematics to solve problems, and that is what I like. Traditionally, engineering was about infrastructure; but, in today’s world, engineering is acknowledged as a discipline that opens up opportunities and creates technology and products that help make our lives easier. Almost every aspect in our lives has somehow been influenced by engineers! There is no limit to what engineers can do and that is why I chose this career.
What are your top tips for someone looking to enter this field?
Quite simply, an engineering career is a work in progress; it’s something you have to continuously develop through experience and real-life applications. If you are willing to put everything into it and you like it, just go for it!
Throughout your career, have you ever considered a change of direction? What caused this?
Yes, I have, but only at the beginning! I am also a pianist and I strongly considered taking that path instead; but my first manager, who was also a woman, really inspired and motivated me to develop my career as an engineer and keep my musical skills as a hobby. I do not regret it at all!
What are some of the barriers that can be faced when entering an engineering role?
Technically, the main barrier is getting a good understanding of the Standards, Regulations and terminology, especially if you work in different countries.
In general terms, if engineering was not perceived as predominantly male, I think young girls would be more enthusiastic to test their abilities in it.
What would you say to your younger self about your career experience?
- Do not be put off from joining a male heavy environment.
- Success consists of learning from failure to achievement.
- Stay focused and be determined.
- There is no need to rush.
- Never give up