December 14, 2017

A day in the life of a CIVIL ENGINEER

Name: SHEILA ENYONAM AKYEA

Qualification: MSC. INT. CONSTRUCTION MGT & ENG. BSC. CIVIL ENGINEERING

Secondary School/s attended: HOLY CHILD SCHOOL

Tertiary Institution/s attended: UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS (MSC), KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (BSC)

 

  • I got in to my job by starting my engineering career with an Engineering Firm called Conterra Limited after my national service with Community Water and Sanitation Agency. Conterra was one of the top five civil engineering consultancies in Ghana. We specialized in Transport and Highway Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering and Contract and Project Management. I joined the company at a time when engineering was evolving a lot and moving from the conventional analogue way of doing engineering to the digital computer aided design and engineering. This coupled with the fact that the firm was staffed by a very small but dynamic team quickened my progress on the learning curve and within three years of joining the company I got my professional membership with the Ghana Institution of Engineers. I took a two year break to read a Master’s Degree at the University of Leeds. On returning to Ghana, I felt that I had further developed my skills to a level where I could take on new challenges. Fortunately for me, a role for a Transport Infrastructure Engineer opened up at the African Development Bank

 

  • My day usually starts at 9:00AM and ends at 7:00PM

 

  • On a typical day, When I get into the office I would check my calendar to remind me of any scheduled meetings or events I have to attend, then I would check my emails and respond to them. If I don’t have any scheduled meetings to attend in the day, I will work on reviewing reports, documents, and designs on the projects I supervise and send responds to the client on the next steps to be followed. This I would do after discussions with other colleagues that might also be on the project. I usually have lunch around 1:30pm then work on presentations, write memos to management for clearances for my projects, and document my reviews in reports. I sometimes go on the site to visit my projects and supervise their progress or have a desk supervision with the executing agency in their office. I would end my day with final check of my emails and my itinerary for the following day.

 

  • The best part of my job is when you see the impact of your work on the lives of people especially those in deprived areas, when they walk up to you to personally thank you for making their lives better

 

  • The worst part of my job is when projects are delayed and beneficiaries are expectantly waiting for the impact of the projects in the lives.

 

  • A memorable moment I have had was when I was a site engineer on a project in Keta in the Volta Region of Ghana and had just designed a road network in one of the flood prone towns in the region. The road was to help solve the sea erosion that was affecting the town. On one fine day I was told the former president of Ghana who was then Vice President HE John Mahama was coming to commission the road. As I tried my best to hide in the crowd that surrounded him he mentioned that he had heard a female engineer designed the road and called me out and commended me for my good work. This he did in every town along the coast that he visited that day. I was really overwhelmed by his recognition.… (We all have that memorable experience on the job, tell us yours)

 

  • Outside of work I READ, SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS, GO TO THE GYM, TAKE PART IN WOMEN’S MENTORING PROGRAM WHERE I MENTOR WOMEN AND GIRLS IN STEM FIELDS

My advise The US Army has a slogan: – BE ALL YOU CAN BE.  In the 21st century, ladies can have it all. We can be all we can be. We should have the strength to tap into our inner passions and follow the paths that they drive us to. We must see each other as a support system and not the competition. We must focus on motivating and mentoring each other so we take our rightful place in developing and achieving humanity, and the world