What traits are required for a career in engineering?
An important trait is being able to problem solve in a way that may challenge the rules. Engineers aren’t confined by the rules and don’t believe in ‘this doesn’t work’. You need to be prepared to really dig into a problem, explore solutions and find out what will work best.
It’s also important to be open-minded, inquisitive and collaborative. It’s not only about liking what you do, but having a real feeling for and sense of it.
Homing in on problem solving, can you tell us about the biggest technical challenge you have faced?
The most technically challenging project I’ve worked on is a 50-storey office called 55 Hudson Yards. This project broke all of the rules. Our client wanted a 100 per cent concrete building – unusual for a commercial building in New York at the time. We succeeded in implementing post tensioning in a unique way that proved to the construction industry that it is both viable and economic, and this started a trend.