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Ele Brown
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Geotechnical EngineerArup
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Graduate Geotechnical Engineer, Arup

I joined Arup on their graduate scheme, doing short rotations around the different teams to get an introduction to the different aspects of civil engineering.

Geotechnical Engineer

I work in an engineering design consultancy, focusing on designing infrastructure (mainly railways and roads). My role is to design the connection between the structure and the ground. This can mean designing tunnels, foundations or earthworks.

My proudest moment would have to be going on sit for the first day of the ground investigation that I designed. I had spent months working out what machinery we needed on our construction site, which locations we needed, and what our access roads would be. It was amazing to see the outcome of all those hours in the office.

I have always been interested in how things work, taking things apart more often than I could put them back together! Understanding how the world works is a key part of engineering, as is a curious mind. Engineers are the people who ask how to make things better. 

Outside of work, I am an avid Formula One fan. I've watched it since I was little, first because of the thrill of watching the fast cars, then because of the interest in the team tactics, and these days I watch it to appreciate the engineering innovations being made. At university I led our Formula Student team, where we designed and built our own race car. Watching it go round the track at Silverstone is something I will never forget! 


My main advice is to always be inquisitive. Don't be afraid of asking questions, you may regret it later if you miss the chance.

My Education
Masters in Engineering
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, UK
Bachelors in Engineering
Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics
St Albans High School for Girls
Photo Of My Education

Maths is an essential part of my job, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed it all at school! I didn't get on with all the theoretical proofs and formulas, I much preferred seeing things happen in the real world. My favourite subject was mechanics, the real world application of maths.

More about me

A really important part of my job is the ability to work well in a team. A design can only happen with input from lots of different engineers, and it is vital that they all talk to each other and communicate their individual design vision in order to achieve a fantastic end product.

As annoying as it sounds, the main thing that helped me improve my communication skill was practice. At school I was rubbish at public speaking, but throughout uni I was forced to give presentations to my class and the more I did, the easier it got. You just have to stick with it.

When I started secondary school I wanted to be a lawyer, because I loved arguing with people! I managed to channel my argumentative side into a more collaborative skill, so I now get that same enjoyment from having a design meeting of 15 different people all discussing their own ideas.

I think it's too early in my career to decide if I should have done something else, I'll have to wait a few more years and see...

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