Career path: Monica Steele

Monica Steele, a geotechnical engineer at Amey, talks about her unusual route into engineering.

What is your job?
I work for Amey, one of the UK market leaders in the provision of infrastructure services. As a geotechnical engineer I am involved in infrastructure projects, specialising in earthworks and foundation design and geotechnical and environmental ground investigations.

Why did you decide to go into engineering?
Growing up I enjoyed science fiction, which inspired me to focus on science and maths. As I got older I wanted to use my interests and make a difference, therefore engineering seemed a perfect fit.

What did you study? How did that lead to your career at Amey?
At 16 I left school to study manufacturing engineering; however changed to civil engineering, and gained employment as a part-time technician with Amey who supported my studies. Understanding the variety of engineering roles helped me structure my education and decide what I wanted to pursue. After getting my degree I secured a graduate position with Amey.

What is special about where you work?
The people – they are amazing! Amey has provided the support to help me achieve my career goals and provided me with a wide variety of opportunities, helping me grow my skills at every stage.

What is exciting?
The diversity of office and site work, getting involved in projects from the foundations up and influencing designs right from the outset. Amey’s range of services and end to end capability means we see projects from initial concept, right through to delivery, which I thrive on.

As a STEM ambassador I enjoy inspiring the next generation of engineers, working with schools, colleges, careers fairs and female networking events, and supporting new members of my team.

What about the work keeps you interested?
Variety! Delivering site investigations, report writing, developing design solutions and communicating with a variety of stakeholders, clients and contractors.

What is the best thing so far in your career?
Shortly after graduating, while working on the Belfast Rapid Transit Scheme, I was given sole responsibility for designing a geotechnical structure. Working on roads I had probably driven on a thousand times really brought home that my job was important and Amey really do help create better places to live, work and travel.