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How I reached my civils career goal

Lizzie Pincombe

Lizzie Pincombe, senior materials technician at Aecom, explains her path to achieving her EngTech MICE qualification.

What does your job involve?

I carry out various tasks including specification writing, pavement material analysis and investigating new technologies. I work out why various materials may or may not work for each project.

Career highlight?

My company asked me to work in Europe on an asphalt reconstruction project. It proved difficult in more ways than just the language barrier and the challenge increased my confidence and knowledge.

When did you know civil engineering was for you? 

When I finished college I didn’t even know what civil engineering was. I had a diploma in sports and a lack of direction. I needed a job and I haven’t looked back since I started at Aecom in 2009.

What would you say to others considering this route?

I gained valuable knowledge of the industry and became a valued team member. If you put your mind to something and work hard there is always a great reward at the end, such as achieving EngTech MICE.

What did you want to do before that?

Due to severe dyslexia I wanted something that was practical and that led me towards hairdressing at one extreme to sports at the other!

Why did you choose a technician apprenticeship route?

I didn’t enter the company as an apprentice, but I jumped at the chance to have day release to attend university. 

Did you face any challenges?

Organising university alongside a full time job on site was hard, but with good planning and organisation this is manageable.

Many females are put off by engineering – what would you say to that? 

I am accepted just as a male is. More exposure for females within the industry would help.

What are you career goals? 

To successfully complete my BSc in civil engineering, work towards getting Chartered with ICE, and continue my growth through gaining knowledge and confidence.

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