- 21st June 2017
- Posted by: Joanne Woodhouse
- Category: Blog
We asked Rebecca Stroud, Assistant Analyst, to fill us in on her career in engineering and the great projects she gets to work on, to celebrate International Women in Engineering.
How long have you worked at JBA?
Four years – one and half in Skipton with JBA Risk Management, and two and a half with JBA Consulting in Newcastle.
What’s a standard day like in your role?
My job mainly involves working on flood forecasting and mapping projects for the Environment Agency. A typical day involves mostly technical work including data analysis, GIS, model development, report writing… and a lot of tea! Communication also plays a key part in my day, to keep everyone involved in various projects up to date with the relevant details.
Top three things you like about your job
- I enjoy variety. The tasks I do each day are different and the catchments being modelled are never the same. There is always a new challenge.
- Learning something new every day. Mostly this is work or industry related but sometimes I get to learn something new about my colleagues or an interesting fact!
- Taking a project from start to finish is a good opportunity to use lots of skills. Delivering the project to the client is a great sense of achievement.
Why did you choose a career in engineering?
I almost stumbled into my career after not knowing what I wanted to do for a very long time. My direction in life has always been what I enjoyed and it soon led me to this point.
Six months before starting at JBA, I was at university (with no idea where my life would take me) and I had my first exposure to flood modelling in France. In between lectures, I got the opportunity to model the River Var using various software packages and evaluate the outputs. I enjoyed it so much that I ended up here!
What’s the best project you’re working on?
Staffordshire Tributaries Forecasting Modelling. The aim is to develop new flood forecasting models for the Rivers Sow and Penk near Stafford. This project is particularly enjoyable because it draws on many skills and I am learning lots in the process of reaching the end goal.
The main tasks are interesting and varied. They have included a site visit, commissioning new surveys, developing a new 1D hydraulic model, developing new rating curves and calibrating forecasting models. An interesting complexity is that another forecasting project for the same region is being done in parallel and all work needs to be consistent. This is where communication becomes particularly important and I enjoy dealing with this extra element.