Alex mather civil alumni

Alexandra Mather

What have you been doing since finishing your studies? What are you doing in terms of your career?

Since graduating, I have been working as a Graduate Civil Engineer at WSP for over 2 years. I worked in the Highways discipline for a year and a half and was fortunate enough to complete 2 secondments in that time – one on a local mega-project in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I then moved into the Bridges discipline where I have completed bridge inspections and client reports.

What company are you working for, what is your role and what does it involve?

I am working for WSP, a global consultancy firm. My current role is Graduate Bridges Engineer – the current project I’m involved in regards the inspections and assessments of a number of bridges at rail stations. I am working closely with Network Rail to complete this project and it has given me an insight into the contractual side of projects.

What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career?

Definitely the Integrated Design Project. Every year on the course, I undertook the IDP - a module which mirrors a project similar to one you would get in the working-world. Some past projects I worked on included a Leeds-Horsforth new rail proposal and the upgrade of a London based goods-yard into a thriving communal hub. The projects mirrored the fast pace of life as a working Engineer whilst allowing me to develop key skills – such as time management, team work and leadership, along with technical Engineering knowledge.

Why did you choose to study your particular course and why did you choose the University of Leeds?

I chose to study Civil Engineering with Project Management because I always loved Maths and Physics in school and wanted to study a course that would allow me to apply these skills practically. I chose to study at the University of Leeds because it won me over on the open day – the passion of the lecturers was incredible, and I just loved the city itself.

What was the best aspect of your course?

Studying Civil Engineering at Leeds allowed me to study the degree whilst specialising in Project Management. For me, this was the best aspect of the course as I have been able to apply this knowledge in all projects I have worked on in my career! If Project Management doesn’t grab you, Leeds also offers structural, environmental, architectural and transport specialisms.

What activities outside of your studies were you involved in?

In my final year I was President of the Civil Engineering Society – Civsoc! We organised different events such as freshers quiz night, Otley run and the end of year joint faculty of Engineering ball.

What would you say to students thinking about studying your course?

In my opinion you’re onto a winner – the course has everything you could want! This includes a variety of modules to choose from; in addition to the core Engineering fundamentals, hands-on lab experience and supportive faculty members. All whilst experiencing a vibrant and lively city!