At Arup, we know our firm will grow stronger if we tap into the breadth of skills, knowledge and creativity that a diverse workforce can offer.
With women still massively underrepresented in engineering, it is important to celebrate the achievements of our people to help inspire future generations of engineers. Their experiences and passions are our greatest asset to encourage more women to bring their talents to this exciting and varied profession.
We speak to female engineers around the firm to discuss what motivates them and where they see the future of the industry heading.
Erin Mc Conahey, Arup Fellow, Los Angeles
What is your proudest achievement?
I would point to the body of people within Arup who have gotten something out of interacting with me, however briefly. I think that's probably the only thing that really lasts. I mean, the buildings last obviously, but I think that there are some people who have risen to their potential within Arup, and that I had a teeny tiny bit of helping to support them on the way. It gives me great joy.
I would have to point to them, or point to some structures that I helped put in place in Arup that mean that there's a higher likelihood that growth can happen for more and more different types of people in Arup than when I joined the firm. I think that is something that I'm proud of.
Erin Mc Conahey receiving the ASHRAE fellowship.
What motivates you?
For my career here at Arup, I think it is trying to help clients reach the maximum potential that they can afford which still allows them to reach the vision of both what that place means to their organization, but also the functionality of what that place serves for the population that's going to be inside of it. Understanding the client's business, the client's needs, the client's unspoken needs, or influences is a big part of what we do.
The increasing use of technology to do repetitive and complex tasks will help clients and collaborators re-learn the value of humans doing design together, namely, community, care, and creativity deployed to improve the common good.
Amy Leitch, Senior Resilience Consultant, New York
What inspires you?
I’ve always been interested in the systems and interconnections between people and the environment and I’ve focused my career on creating sustainable and resilient communities and cities.
When I started college, my school didn’t even offer a degree in environmental studies, and climate change and resilience were just emerging concepts. I’ve loved working with some of the world’s leading cities, their partner networks, and project developers to shape the field of urban resilience and climate adaptation, and I’ve loved how the work has become richer and diverse as more and more disciplines get involved and see a role for themselves in advancing resilience goals.
Tell us about a project you're proud of
It’s not every day that we get to work on a project that has the potential to directly impact the lives of 4 million people (and an additional 50 million annual visitors!). The LA Green New Deal city plan is one of the projects I’m most proud to have worked on. Through it, we helped set the sustainability agenda for the City of LA for the next generation, and provided a roadmap for the city to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 - helping to lead action to avoid a global climate crisis.
As a design and engineering firm we have the opportunity to literally build the future. I think we have a unique opportunity to transform the lives of people and where they live, work, and play, which is very rewarding. If we do it right, we can truly shape a better world.
The LA Green New Deal plans for major efforts to help the city achieve carbon neutral status by 2050.
Susanne Sugiarto, Engineer, Hong Kong
I have been to many Arup offices in different parts of the world, and I never fail to find the same creative and driven people who share the same values as me. It is an organization that truly cares about its people and understand that the key to success is us, its people.
Guneet Kohli, Engineer, London
I find inspiration in work that is socially useful and rewarding - whether working on technical projects, finding solutions to complex problems, or my work outside of projects with community engagement. "
Country-level resilience assessment and strategy
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are highly vulnerable to a range of shocks and stresses, as well as the direct effects of climate change. A multi-sector solution is required to solve the interconnected challenges faced by these communities.