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Spotlight: Joanne Sherry, Graduate Engineer at WSP

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

A fact about myself is that I am the first member of my family to go to university.

Tell us about your career journey so far

I have just graduated with a first-class degree in Civil Engineering from Edinburgh Napier University. I completed my first placement with BEAR Scotland in the summer of 2018 within their North West team and this helped me gauge an understanding for the industry. Not only was I able to apply knowledge which I had learnt in university but I was also able to develop on my communication and team working skills.

I then completed a summer placement with WSP during the summer of 2019 within their highways team and was offered a scholarship to support me through my masters year.

I will be starting my graduate position within WSP in October this year in their highways team. I am looking forward to going back and being able to start my professional career but also to challenge myself and continue to learn.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

In school I really enjoyed math and science subjects, especially physics. I like to know how things work and why they are necessary within our everyday lives. This is what led me to a career in Engineering.

What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?

To become a Civil Engineer the subjects that I view are useful are maths and physics. As within Civil Engineering you need to have a good understanding of how everything works as a whole.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Each day is different, I am always learning and there is always a new challenge to consider. This keeps it challenging but also interesting.

What is a normal day in your role like?

Firstly I check my emails and undertake any urgent actions from them. I would then check in with the project team (or Line Manager) to check if any priorities had changed within the project. The rest of the day would be working on project tasks assigned to me and partaking in project team meetings.

Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?

An activity that you could carry out at home would be building a bridge out of spaghetti. This helps to build an understanding about the strength of different geometries but also links to real life as you could recreate a bridge you have seen.

An example of how to do this can be found here:

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Tel: 01383 626070


Address: 2 Pitreavie Court, Dunfermline, KY11 8UU

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The UK-wide STEM Ambassador programme is managed by STEM Learning Limited, which operates the National STEM Learning Network, alongside other projects supporting STEM education. To find out more please go to the STEM Learning website