Lisa Oliver – The Journey

Lisa Oliver – The Journey

Throughout school I was interested in becoming an engineer as my uncle used to show me his drawings and designs, although I had a good aptitude for math, I didn’t really get on very well with science, this led to being talked out of becoming an engineer due to the likelihood universities not accepting a low science grade.

I started my career later in life after the birth of my first son and started college when started nursery led from an open day session which I had decided that I would complete the AutoCAD design courses that were on offer, which also fit in around looking after my son.

When I was nearing the end of the level 4 AutoCAD course I started volunteering at a local design firm of which I was offered permanent employment, that’s were my career really started. I was responsible for drawing packages and licensing drawings under the supervision of the designers, however 3 years later the company folded due to the 2008 recession.

This allowed an opportunity to gain a HNC in building studies to allow admittance to university to complete a degree in Architectural Technology, I enjoyed completing my degree and gained a decent grade and during my second year I was approached by Waterman Aspen whom found an old CV online and we met for a chat, I started working for WA shortly after as a salaried member of staff. I had a series of secondments within the private sector which opened my eyes to the highways design sector and using transferable skills gained from the degree resulted in multiple call backs to the clients.

I have now been working for Waterman for nearly eight years and for the last 5 years I have worked in a local Authority and loved the progression this has given, working in this sector has given me the knowledge and experience to bridge the gap from being CAD support on projects to actually be the one designing and gaining the responsibility it comes with. I have loved every minute of it and I love that nearly every day I learn something new. I currently work on one of the largest schemes in the Northeast, as well as several cycle schemes that are currently under construction, with it comes challenges but overcoming those challenges provides a great deal of satisfaction.

I have just completed a masters in construction project management with BIM and with that I am part of the BIM work group for our secondment client to help initiate BIM into the company and every day work practice. Although starting my career late I am proud to finally end up being the engineer I wanted to be at school and look forward to the next chapter of becoming chartered with the help and support from Waterman Aspen and secondment client.