#EngineeredOURway - Frederick Eigelaar

We caught up with our Building Structures Engineer Frederick who shared with us what got him into engineering, what he’s most passionate about, what he does in his spare time, and how he feels about gender balance in our industry.

What do you do?
I’m a design engineer within the building structures team. My role comprises of the technical design and coordination of building structures, making sure that we deliver an optimised, but ultimately safe, design to our clients.
In addition to this, I very much enjoy being part of the wider WSP business and currently head up the Taskforce team, a group of early career professionals that get the opportunity to work on projects and initiatives that aim to improve our business.

Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from Cape Town in South Africa and spent the first 23 years of my life there. After graduating with a Civil Engineering degree, I was looking for an opportunity to see more of the world, and with a bit of luck (which included spotting a small A4 poster for a graduate program in Dubai whilst walking to class one day), I started my first-ever full-time job in the Middle East.

How long have you been with WSP and in the region?
5-and-a-half years in the region of which 4 years have been with WSP.

What got you into engineering?
During my final year of high school, I was top of my class in accounting, so initially did consider a career in that field, but my 18-year-old self thought that a life as an engineer seemed a bit more exciting, plus I argued that as a civil engineer I’d be able to work on projects all over the world, which in fact has become a reality since.

What has been your best accomplishment at work?
My main involvement thus far has been with our client Dubai World Trade Centre and their One Central development. Seeing the 3 buildings that I worked on being constructed and taking shape physically has been a truly rewarding experience. Whenever I drive past the site now I still get this feeling of awe seeing the structures in full scale.

What are you passionate about?
Good design. Lately, I’ve become more and more interested in the design aspect of what we do. As engineers, we have a very physical impact on the world and delivering well-thought-through and well-put-together design really does make a difference to the people that eventually use the buildings and the infrastructure we work on.

What is it you do outside of work that you feel most proud of?
Time with family. I’m fortunate to have great relationships with my immediate family and really make an effort to spend time with them whenever I take a break from my life in Dubai.

What can you say about diversity and inclusion – at WSP, in our industry, or wider community?
WSP in the Middle East is taking big steps to increase the diversity and inclusion focus in the workplace. Our leadership has set up a Gender Balance Steering Group, which I form part of, that looks at global standards on gender balance and inclusion, working actively to implement best practice in our business. Supporting initiatives that celebrate diversity is an important ingredient to success, both in the workplace and in our communities, and is a growing focus in many businesses and institutions. Some industries are more advanced in diversity and inclusion than others, and WSP ME is proud to be a part of a cross-sector round table made up of a variety of companies that exchange ideas around how to drive positive change in our industries to make an impact on our people and wider communities.  

What are the key learnings you have taken away from being a part of a diverse workforce?
I have learned that a diverse workforce means providing employees with equal opportunities to thrive and reach their potential, by celebrating their talents, removing barriers, and rewarding their hard work in a committed and considerate way. At WSP ME, we have a breadth of diverse identities, talents and experience, which contributes to positive working culture that we are all proud of.