What made you want to become a Structural Engineer?
I chose to became a structural engineer because from a young age I was have always been in awe of buildings and intrigued as to how they stood up without falling, however I only finally realised I wanted to do structural engineering at the point I was offered to do a Structural Engineering MSc on a full women in engineering scholarship.
What route did you take to get to where you are?
I took the educational route to Structural Engineering. For my A Levels I studied Maths, Physics and Computing. I then went onto university to study BEng Civil Engineering with Sustainability. This luckily also included a work placement Year. Once that was complete, I continued with my studies and went on to do my MSc masters degree in Structural Engineering on a Women in Engineering full scholarship.
The Reality: what does your role actually involve and how does your work affect our lives/the world around us?
As a Senior Structural Engineer, I design new buildings and small refurbishments projects across all sectors. Day to day, I liaise with the design team which includes architects and m and e engineers to help with project delivery. My work is designing and building structures for various reasons such as health and residential accommodations. The entire design team I work with includes, architects, landscape architects, M&E Engineers, site engineers, drainage engineers and geotechnical engineers!
"The best thing I like about my role is being able to work on analysis models or create structural calculations whilst vibing to music!"
Challenges in my role are definitely inevitable. Some that I face include Working to tight construction deadline but this is done successfully by prioritising all task to ensure no deadline is missed, because time is money.
As a woman in my career, I tend to stick out! When I tell people about my career role, they always appear to be shocked. I just keep doing what I love and succeeding, despite the odds and challenges in my path.
What advice would you give a young woman thinking about a career in your role?
My advice is very simple - YOU CAN DO IT!
Outside of your role, do you have a passion project?
I currently lead the AFBE – UK Schools programme which aims to make engineering accessible for those from a low socio-economical background. I also have a passion for teaching others which I do via various tv series I have had the opportunity to work.
Ladies, YOU CAN DO IT!"
Hey Ladies, my name is Zainab Adigun and I'm a 30 year old Senior Structural Engineer at Pell Frischmann. I’ve been in the industry for 8 years now!
As social value champion and EDI team member for Pell Frischmann, I help to define strategies and deliver social value commitments. I also volunteer as a board member for the Association for Black and Ethnic Minority Engineers (AFBE) where I’m the team leader for the ‘Making Engineering Hot’ initiative which exposes young people from black and other ethnic minority groups to careers in engineering.
Recently, I was listed as one of 100 Finalists for the Top Women in Engineering 2022 Awards as recognition of my contribution in encouraging females to consider a career in engineering. I also won the CN & NCE Inspiring Women in Construction and Engineering awards Excellence in Outreach.