Building a better world

As a regional director at AECOM, a global engineering consultancy firm, Helena Rivers advises people on how they can improve their buildings whilst ensuring they are safe and environmentally friendly.

Learning and building

Working with local councils to deliver sustainable buildings is a big part of Helena’s role to ensure local communities are at the core of all decision making. In addition to this, creating spaces that people can enjoy and be comfortable in whilst encouraging them to learn is a key to Helena.

From planes to prosthetics

Helena has always been interested in how things work and ways they can be improved. She initially wanted to be a pilot but before making that decision, she was keen to explore the world of engineering. She attended a number of university open days and found it really inspiring to see engineers develop things like knee joints and hip joints, enabling people to walk again. From this point, she decided to change her career path and study mechanical engineering.  

Greener buildings

One of Helena’s main responsibilities is to improve sustainability. When re-constructing, it is important engineers consider the possibilities of repurposing buildings instead of demolishing them. She recently transformed an old industrial unit into a new fire station.

Helena enjoys seeing the immediate impact of her work. From initial meetings, to decision making on site and most importantly the final product. Contributing to a sustainable future is important to Helena and something she loves about her job.

Everyone is needed

The engineering sector is so broad and comes in so many different forms but as a whole, it enables towns, cities and people to thrive.

People often think to be engineer, you need to be a maths genius but that’s not true. As the world is moving on, a lot more analysis is computer-based modelling, so strong visualisation skills are needed – reading drawings and interpreting them into 3D from 2D.