With an inquisitive mind and a determination to solve problems since childhood, Remi Olamigoke was always going to be a strong candidate for engineering. Now in receipt of her PHD, our Bridges Engineer discusses her recent achievement, her journey with TSP Projects and her advice for future generations looking to get into the industry.
Remi, what made you get into Engineering?
I’ve always questioned everything around me. When I was about 4, I asked my Mum over and over again how the woman in the TV got there – I wasn’t getting an answer that made sense to me, so I smashed the TV to find out for myself. Sometimes you have to take something apart to understand how it fits together! This was my first taste into finding out more about technology – but my Mum wasn’t too happy! So my desire to solve problems, and my skills with numbers, led me to follow the route my Dad took and become an Engineer, where I saw variety and challenges.
Your Thesis, ‘Structural Response of Cable-Stayed Bridges to Cable Loss’ helped you gain your recent PHD. Why did you choose the subject you did?
It really came out of the Bridge projects I was working on at the time. I was hitting the same problems over and over again and ended up writing about that experience as a way to fully understand the challenge and the solution. They do always say, ‘write about what you know’.
You’ve been with us for a few years now. How has your role evolved?
When I joined the TSP Projects, I had more of a design focus, but over time I’ve been involved with the assessment of existing structures, writing reports and costings. Right now, I’m digging into data – looking at ways to streamline and bring together project information to benefit the team. I’m focusing on quality and standardisation.
How has TSP Projects supported your development?
Completing my PHD whilst juggling my day to day projects and also a busy home life with two children was never going to be easy but TSP Projects have been really flexible and encouraging. I feel I have complete support from my team and the wider business and when I’ve taken maternity or needed to reallocate my time, they’ve always accommodated my needs.
What’s been your favourite project at TSP Projects?
Definitely what I’m doing now. I’m very interested in programming and I’ve been able to take that passion and channel it into something that’s really benefiting my colleagues which is so satisfying.
What advice would you give to future engineers?
Go for it! Seriously, it’s an exciting industry. You will face challenges and you need to be adaptable and have a hunger to learn and grow but if you have that, you’ll find a supportive, passionate industry willing to support your development.
What would you say to young women wanting to get into the industry?
I would say that you should never compromise your ambitions. There’s no reason you can’t have everything you want; learn, grow and develop as well as achieve a good work life balance. A good employer will see everything you are doing and want to do and will look to support you in every way they can and you should never settle for less.
You’re pioneering new standards at TSP Projects, representing Women in Engineering. What’s next Dr Olamigoke?
In the future, I’d like to be a manager. I can still use my problem solving skills, but applied in a new way to help develop the skills of my team whilst overseeing all of our activities.