Engineering is such an exciting and varied career where every day is different

My name is Sue Armstrong, I work in student recruitment and careers; I help our students to get jobs by introducing them to industry and running workshops that help them to develop the right employability skills.


Watch: Our interview with Sue

I studied maths, further maths and physics at A Level and I always felt that I would go on to do a maths or science degree, but when I started to look around I found that there we lots of other options open to me because I’d taken those subjects. I firstly found engineering was an option and then found Civil Engineering which attracted me because it looked very varied and also with my Dad being a joiner I felt I knew something about the construction industry; turns out its quite different once you get out there as a professional engineer.

I studied Civil Engineering at University and the course was really good, after which I worked for four different companies, including a very large company in Birmingham with whom I designed International Convention Centre's, police stations and power stations. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working within engineering, it requires not only the technical skills that enable you to be able to design buildings, but also the opportunity to work with big teams of people, meet new people, to travel, to develop negotiation skills, team building, its such an exciting and varied career where every day is different.

After 15 years in the construction industry I came to teach in the Civil Engineering Department at The University of Sheffield, a key part of which was to run third and fourth year projects that simulate real projects in industry. When our graduates go out into industry they are prepared to work in real project teams, I brought in experts from industry, giving students exposure to companies and a real taste of what engineering is actually like.

We interviewed Sue in 2015.