Mimi-Isabella Nwosu (Hons) is an Assistant Materials Engineer for Sir Robert McAlpine.

I wanted to become a Materials Engineer, because I am interested in sustainable development and wanted to thoroughly understand materials properties and performance to build a sustainable future.

Based London
Employer Sir Robert McAlpine

Why did you want to become an Assistant Materials Engineer?

I always loved my Civil Engineering Materials lectures at university.

I wanted to become a Materials Engineer, because I am interested in sustainable development and wanted to thoroughly understand materials properties and performance to build a sustainable future.

Did you need any qualifications or training to get into your role?

You will need a degree/onsite experience.

I did my degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Portsmouth and I will soon be studying for my master's degree in Advanced Materials at Imperial College London (sponsored by Sir Robert McAlpine).

Prior to my role, I worked for a consultant as a Graduate Engineer, assisting Principal Engineers and Project Managers with highways alignments using various software.

During my degree I took a placement year with a construction firm as an Undergraduate Engineer, working on the construction/design management of commercial and residential buildings.

How did you get your role?

I looked on LinkedIn for jobs and I was happy to find the role in Materials Engineering. I applied online on the Sir Robert McAlpine website, where I uploaded my CV and general details. After one week I was contacted by HR for an interview.

I believe my final year project helped me to get the role. I did my dissertation on concrete and I was able to demonstrate my knowledge, experience and willingness to learn at the interview.

What skills do you need in your role?

Communication skills.

Whether that’s analysing CAD drawings, writing emails, conducting presentations, meetings, and giving instructions to subcontractors. You are exposed to people at all levels of the business.

Teamwork

Working with large multidisciplinary teams on large projects and also working with the supply chain.

Currently, I am on a secondment. I have gained various skills in materials testing, such as sampling - conducting the tests onsite and in the lab in accordance with standards.

What are your working hours and is there room for flexibility?

37.5 hours a week, with the opportunity to work from home, as the company encourages flexible working. I also get 25 days annual leave.

How far do you want to progress and what opportunities are there to do so?

I would like to become a Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng) within the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and become a Chief Engineer, and venture into research and development. You will need commercial, health and safety, leadership and management, and technical skillsets.

I will be studying part-time for my Master of Science (MSc) to meet the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.

This process can take a minimum of 5 years; however, the progression is up to you.

Earning Potential: £70k+.

What would you say to others about getting into construction?

  • Construction is fun, fast paced, challenging and a rewarding career!
  • You meet various people on all levels of businesses and with that come amazing opportunities.
  • Knowing that you are actively contributing to the future is what keeps you going!
  • There is a role within construction to meet everyone’s skillsets.
  • Construction can allow you to travel all over the world - the world is your oyster.

Find out more about Mimi-Isabella’s journey into construction and Sir Robert McAlpine.

Image of Mimi-Isabella courtesy of University of Portsmouth.