A young construction engineer on the Tideway project has been named a Future Leader by the incoming President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
Bianca Wheeler, based at Greenwich Pumping Station for London’s super sewer, has been chosen by the ICE President Rachel Skinner as one of six on the 2020-21 Future Leaders Scheme.
Every year the President chooses some of the brightest and most motivated graduate and technician members to be on the scheme, giving them a unique opportunity to gain experience, develop skills and learn about the industry.
"I felt very honoured to be selected as one of Rachel’s Future Leaders,” said Bianca. “I had heard such great things about the scheme during my time in the industry and knew one day I would have to apply.”
Bianca is excited to work with the five other Future Leaders and the ICE to help research some of the industry's biggest challenges, looking at how civil engineers across the world can be inspired to adapt the way they or their companies work to help overcome them.
"Working with the institution at a senior level will give me a great insight into how the industry operates, how they work alongside important third parties to achieve set goals and how to get members to engage to increase outreach and knowledge sharing."
Bianca has been a very active STEM ambassador at Tideway and is looking forward to sharing her experiences with young people she engages with at STEM events, showcase the opportunities that lie within the industry and sharing knowledge on issues such as climate change, net-zero carbon and how engineers can help tackle the problem.
Bianca began on the Tideway project as an apprentice – and it is a route she has never regretted.
"I felt quite lucky at the age of 17-18 to know what industry I wanted to work in, after career talks and work experience, all civil engineering-based, it was clear to me that my skillset and passions were best suited in the construction industry and there were some amazing projects and opportunities that I simply didn’t want to wait another three to four years to be involved with."
As part of the scheme she will be mentored by the ICE President and a director. So, if Bianca could mentor her younger self, what one piece of advice would you give?
"Go with your gut instinct and stop doubting yourself"
In the future, Bianca would like to work on a variety of different projects both in the UK and overseas.
"After graduating in the summer of 2023 and gaining experience with both the contractor and the designer, I hope to become a chartered engineer with the ICE, then continue to develop my skills on large scale infrastructure projects and continue to create an impact within the STEM, INWED (international women in engineering day) and ICE communities."