Lauren Gracey - Civil Engineer, Graham Construction
As a teenager and a student in an all-female Grammar School, I had few misconceptions on which subjects were more appropriate for women – I simply knew which subjects I enjoyed. When travelling with my family along the Dundalk Western By-Pass in 2006, I was mesmerised by the newly constructed Boyne Bridge and asked ’What job could I do to build something like that?’ I chose STEM subjects in order to keep my options open and luckily stumbled across course information on Civil Engineering – my mind was made up!
I studied Civil Engineering at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown and graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Civil Engineering. I undertook a placement year whilst studying and gained employment with Graham Construction on Graduation in 2012. Working for a Main Contractor, I have already worked on roads and highways, bridges, clean water, nuclear and most recently rail projects. I have, through my career as a site engineer and more recently design co-ordinator, helped to shape the world in which we live.
I have gained professional accreditation with the Institution of Civil Engineers as an Incorporated Engineer and have enjoyed taking part in projects with school children and young adults through activities as a registered STEM Ambassador. I believe it is of utmost importance to inform those who are researching and deciding on how to move forward with future careers, how wonderful and diverse STEM careers can be.
How amazing to wake each morning and be part of a movement which changes the face of how and where we all live! To help identify, challenge and improve the key issues which affect us all. The WISE objective is to ‘enable and energise people in business to increase the participation, contribution and success of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics’. By promoting STEM careers and making our STEM industries more transparent and accessible, it is my hope that a whole wave of young people will be inspired to get involved in STEM careers which they feel passionate about and which will ultimately lead to more diverse, inclusive and successful industry.