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Paula McMahon

Paula McMahon, 31, chartered engineer, Tees Valley Paula McMahon, 31, is a chartered civil engineer based in Halcrow's Tees Valley office, where she is part of the company's Thames Barrier team. She joined the firm last year, choosing Halcrow partly for the opportunity to work on high profile projects.

Earlier this year McMahon was one of several people in the office who got involved with a CITB-led initiative to get schoolgirls engaged in engineering by challenging them to design the 'Eighth Wonder of Teesside'. The project involved mentoring the girls by answering their questions, and judging their entries.

'The level of commitment from the girls was phenomenal, ' she says. 'Kids today get such a bad rap about how they don't try and they're lazy. You could tell by the quantity and type of questions they asked that they weren't doing this off the top of their head. They were really interested in it.' McMahon is also secretary of the Teesside branch of the ICE and will soon be involved in mentoring female graduates at the University of Teesside.

She has been trained as a construction ambassador, which means she can go out to schools to encourage young people into the industry.

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