Structural Engineer


Physics, Design and Technology, Maths, Further Maths

Physics (University of Oxford)

Structural Engineering (Imperial College London)

Roma is an associate structural engineer at WSP who has designed bridges, skyscrapers and sculptures with leading architects.

She spent six years working on the Shard in London, for which she designed the foundations and spire.

“I really enjoy my job, every day is challenging and creative, and I don’t know many people that can genuinely say that. Engineering is a great way to use the maths and problem solving skills that I learnt from studying physics to do something practical. My favourite part is being able to point at cool buildings (like the Shard) and say, ‘I designed that!’

“My day at work varies depending on what stage my project is at. We start with conceptual design, meeting architects and clients to turn ideas into something that will stand up once built. During the design phase we do calculations, running computer models to test our design. And finally during construction, I visit site regularly to solve problems that occur as a building takes its physical form. The skills are transferrable anywhere in the world, and I’ve already had the opportunity to work in different countries.”

Although Roma has always been interested in architecture and design, she didn’t make the decision to become an engineer until partway through her degree.

“It is understandably difficult to know what you want to do with your life at 16. I chose to study physics at university, as it excited me the most and I believe that is the best way to ensure you get a rewarding education.  It kept my options open so that I could specialise later when I decided that I wanted to be an engineer.

“Engineering is such a fun and rewarding career. If you enjoy maths and physics, you should consider it. There are hundreds of different types of engineering you can look at, everything we eat, buy, our trains and cars, homes and offices would not be possible without engineers.”

Read next:

Roma the Engineer

From India to London Bridge: How the UK’s rising engineering star Roma Agrawal helped build The Shard – The Telegraph

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