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Meet the Engineer: Marie Purrmann-Charles

At Tideway, our aim is to inspire the engineers of tomorrow by promoting the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths.

We also want to showcase some of the many talented people we have working across the project. Meet Apprentice Engineer Marie Purrmann-Charles.

This September will mark Marie Purrmann-Charles’ first Tideway anniversary as an Apprentice Engineer at King Edward Memorial Park.

Looking back on what she's learnt since being on Tideway, Marie said: “Over the last year I have learnt about the sheer magnitude and complexity of the project I'm working on. From the months of work it takes to select the correct type of door handle for the permanent works to the breathtakingly massive machinery in daily use at my site.

“Some of the tasks undertaken by my team are mind-blowingly fascinating and complex, challenging even the most experienced members of the team. Other tasks however, simply require knowledge of how to copy, paste and format."

She continued: “But I think the most important thing I have learnt is that even if you and your skill set is drastically different from the rest of your team, if you are motivated and willing to learn, you can and will become a valued member of the team.”

Marie’s interest in working on the Tideway project started at a young age. She recalls: “I was 14 when I went to an apprentice careers fair and started talking to people at a stall about how they were building a super sewer under London. I thought what an awesome project that was and how cool it would be to be part of it.

“Four years later I was proudly putting on my first set of Tideway PPE. I can vividly remember the subsequent 20 minutes of uncontrollable grinning. I'd say the feeling of being part of a project that is far bigger than just me and my team is something I enjoy.

Speaking about the team she works with every day, Marie has nothing but high praise: “Working with highly skilled engineers and operatives on my site is an absolute joy. Having them take the time to explain exactly what every piece of machinery does and helping me to understand how the construction methods are carried out is probably what I enjoy the most.”

Marie’s career in engineering may have just started, but she is already thinking about the future: “It has been my aspiration to help people for my whole life. Currently I'm doing that by being part of the Tideway project that is cleaning up the river.

"Every day I'm learning about more new and exciting projects and entire fields of engineering that I was hitherto not even aware existed. So, I cannot say with certainty what I will be doing in the future but I hope I will be helping people while working in an Engineering field.”

Discover more about Tideway's celebration of Women in Engineering day here: 

Engineer With Me: A day in the life of apprentices on London’s Super Sewer