Tommy Shinton - Civil Engineer - AECOM

Issued: Wed, 05 Aug 2020 00:00:00 BST

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

Last year I discovered pictures I’d never seen before, drawn by my great-grandad in WW2, in Kelvingrove Museum!

Tell us about your career journey so far

I grew up in Edinburgh and went to the University of Glasgow where I studied Civil Engineering. After graduating I got a job as a Graduate Engineer. I am now qualified as a chartered civil engineer and have worked on lots of projects involving water – preventing flooding, providing drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

Physics – I liked that it used maths to explain the world around us and allow us to predict and design things we know will work.

What subjects/qualifications are useful for your role?

Maths and Physics are quite important, but it’s also useful to have an interest or understanding of geography, economics, business, chemistry, tech and more too depending on what area you work in. It’s good to have a mix of creativity and logical problem solving.

What is a normal day in your role like?

At the moment I’m mostly working from home, some days I will be out on a site, working out what will work or fit. I discuss projects with other engineers, clients and the public and use calculations to make sure what I’m doing will work. We then produce drawings to show the contractors what to build and where.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I get to solve problems that help people. Starting with a problem that needs resolved and a blank sheet of paper and ending up with something that’s built, real and in the ground which helps make the world a better place.

Can you suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work? 

The ICE’s Flood Risk Activity is a good one, I’ve also put together some water and flooding project calculation worksheets which let you go through some of the calculations that would be done to size a water supply network or flood prevention scheme.

If you're a STEM Ambassador in Scotland and want to share your story you can download the form here.