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Engineers Week, 2021

Engineers Week is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers, according to the NSPE. In celebration of this years' Engineers Week (February 21–27, 2021), we asked five Engineer's, who operate at various levels across a range of disciplines at Rolton Group, to share with you what inspired them to become an engineer, the challenges they faced along the way and any advice they have for people who are considering engineering as a career.

Greta Zvilauskaite - Graduate Engineer (Building Services)

From an early age I saw a lot of my family members pursue careers in engineering and I always thought their work was interesting and never the same! At school I found Maths and Science as challenging and interesting subjects and I was good at it too, so I knew this career path would suit me very well. In my last years of school I was introduced to a company that was contributing to designs for sustainable buildings by implementing energy efficient systems and how important that is in the long-term in order to protect our environment. From that point onwards I knew exactly which field of engineering I wanted to pursue. I graduated with Mechanical and Architectural Engineering degree and now work as a Graduate Building Services Engineer. Although there were some challenges along the way, I love to see how our designs come to life and I have never looked back! To anyone who is considering an engineering career, I would say make every effort to get some work experience/internship in the industry before or during university and eventually your light-bulb moment will come!
Jemma Clerkin - Graduate Engineer

What brought me into the world of engineering was looking at Ireland's (my home country) energy supply and wondering where the future would lie for it. Fossil fuels are a finite resource and would not be able to keep up with the worlds demand for energy. This led me to undergo a one-year Renewable Energy course at a local college. I enjoyed the classes and began looking for electrical engineering degree options, which was when I found a Sustainable Design in Electrical Engineering course in the city of Dublin in Ireland.

Attending the course wasn’t easy, I wasn’t driving at the time and the only way to get there was by public transport. Moving closer to the university wasn’t an option and the journey to attend the university would start with a 5am wake up call and a near 2-hour bus ride to attend the 9am classes, sometimes I wouldn’t be home until 8pm at night. Doing that with a part time job wasn’t easy but I don’t regret the choice I made and where it's led me. The course opened my eyes to electrical engineering and I learnt how, with the right philosophy, we can make a difference to how energy is used and saved. After I had completed my degree, I moved to England and began working at Rolton Group. I have been here just over three years and it’s been great! I’ve had great exposure to projects I could have only dreamt of. I am hoping that with more experience and exposure to the engineering projects I will work my way up the ladder. What I love about my job is that no two days are the same, you always learn something new! My advice for others who are debating a career in engineering is to do your research, find out what you like, attend university open days with a prepared a list of questions to ask and check out websites and STEM.
Dilshad Hamad - Project Engineer (Mechanical)

From a young age, I have always had a keen interest in knowing how everything works around me. I used to create my own toys such as cars, tractors, boats and many more from metal, wood, cardboard and plastic. I migrated to the UK at the end of 2002 and was unable to speak any English at the time. I started to study the English language at Newcastle College for a few years but in my spare time would always find myself intrigued by engineering documentaries which then motivated me to study for an engineering degree. My parents never had a chance to finish their schooling but they were very supportive and insisted that I should attend and finish my studies. I faced many challenges throughout my studies due to the language barrier and having to learn to adapt to an entirely new education system. Despite this, I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering MEng (Hons) from Northumbria University in 2014. Currently, I am working as a Project Engineer and my aim is to achieve Chartership in the near future and keep pushing to progress my career.
Clayton Knevitt - Associate Director (Structural)

Around the time I was making big decisions about what to do with my career, the dot-com bubble was in the process of bursting. It influenced me to find a career in a field that was going to have value in perpetuity, for myself but also for wider society (as corny as that sounds); I liked the idea that the work I produced would result in something physical that would benefit a person, a group or a community.

Having previously worked with smaller consultancies whilst growing up in the South-West, I decided to work for a smaller company as soon as I graduated with a MEng from Loughborough University, it was a decision that gave me opportunities to involve myself in aspects of the business that might have been otherwise inaccessible. It wasn’t just how to get a project from brief to completion that I discovered I wanted to learn, but also looking at each step and asking whether there was a better or more efficient way to do it, who is involved in each part of the process and do they have what they need to do it well, and are we making the best use of the tools we have at our disposal.

When delivering projects on the scale of residential extensions and small buildings, I was producing every aspect (consultation, calculations, drawings, etc.), which gave me an invaluable attention to small detail that has persisted throughout my career. This combined with the desire to uplift, not just my own efficiency but of those around me, has propelled me from those small projects to now producing the structural design of the UK’s first Gigaplant, which on completion will become the 16th largest building in the world by plan area. I believe that being an Engineer is about solving questions, and the questions are set by the Engineer; where can you add the most value? How do you want to do it?
Craig Smith - Managing Director

Ever since I was a young child I was always into practical toys. I can recall Duplo, Lego and Lego Technic. At a young age I was building Lego Technic models on Christmas Day that were 6-8 years above my age in terms of complexity. I used to complete them in a matter of hours. I suppose you could say I was always destined to be an engineer. I recall building an electronic battery powered door alarm so my mum could tell when the back door had been left open at around the age of ten, this clearly defined my path to being a Chartered Electrical Engineer.

If you are an engineer, you are an engineer 24/7, hanging a shelf or designing a multi-million pound project, it’s a passion and believe it or not there are few true engineers out there. My route to success wasn’t easy, part-time education whilst working meant putting my career first at every step. Becoming Managing Director of Rolton Group within 18 years of joining as an Assistant Engineer proves hard work, dedication and staying at the top of your game pays off.

My advice to any up and coming engineer is to stick with your passion, be the first in, last out and look back every day knowing you made a difference. Differentiate yourself, be the very best you can be no matter how small or large your task is, aim to be right first time every time.
If you are considering a career in engineering but are unsure for whatever reason, then please do not hesitate to get in touch and we can put you in contact with one of our engineers who will be able to answer all of your queries!