Finding solutions to challenging building design issues
Katherine Jenkins graduated in 2014 with an MSc in Architectural Engineering: Environmental Design and went on to work as Technical Graduate for Berkeley Homes.
If you have a passion for detail and enjoy the idea of each day presenting new challenges and new opportunities then you should pursue a career in engineering
What influenced your decision to pursue a career in engineering?
I studied a BA (Hons) Architecture at the University of Manchester and then an MSc Architectural Engineering: Environmental Design at the University of Bath. I held the view that architecture was a little too arts-based for me and wanted to pursue a career that was more technically demanding.
Where have you previously worked and how did this lead to your current position?
I previously worked in one small and one medium-sized architecture practice during graduate and postgraduate education. My current role within the Technical Department for Berkeley Homes required either an architectural or architectural engineering background, ideally with an understanding of the relevant sustainability standards within the industry. The MSc Architectural Engineering: Environmental Design programme combined with my experience in practice was ideal.
What challenges have you faced in your studies/career and how did you overcome them?
I have noticed that industry is particularly male-dominated, partially due to the stigma often attached to engineering and construction, and partially due to the large amounts of time required to be spent on-site. The hours are also long, therefore retaining a resilient approach to a large workload and increasing level of responsibility has been crucial.
What aspect of engineering do you particularly enjoy?
I particularly enjoy finding solutions to challenging building design issues, identifying areas where expense and time can be saved through innovative design solutions. Staying ahead of changing regulations is also important, especially when dealing with new European codes required by Building Control Bodies.
What advice would you give to young women interested in studying engineering?
If you have a passion for detail and enjoy the idea of each day presenting new challenges and new opportunities then you should pursue a career in engineering, knowing that at the end of your study there will be various and numerous opportunities across several highly interesting sectors.
What are your career plans for the future?
I intend to remain within the construction industry, ideally continuing to work on high-rise towers and mixed-use buildings for Berkeley Homes, with the view to be responsible for the post-planning construction process of a large mixed-use scheme in the coming years.