Cremona Makaginsar

A visit as a 10 year old to a hydropower Saguling Dam in Indonesia, a structure that both my parents were involved in constructing years ago, opened my eyes to the impact civil engineers can have in the world.

Ever since that exciting day, I knew the path my own career would take. But I also knew it wouldn’t be easy – the gender imbalance in Indonesia was very high. Drawing on her own experience, my mother (a civil engineer herself) suggested that I choose another field of study – but it was too late… I was inspired!

Luckily, we moved to the UK when I was 15; just in time to choose my career route. It just had to be in engineering – it was my passion. I obtained my Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Bristol in 2009, and then joined Mott MacDonald (MM) as a graduate. I received my Chartership from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in 2016 and I am now a Principal Engineer within the Metros and Civil division.

My 11 year career in civil engineering has certainly been varied, but the project that “made” me was designing the complex main interchange station for Doha Metro. My role progressed from being a designer to eventually Deputy Structures Lead responsible for the delivery and coordination of all structural elements within the station with other engineering disciplines in a Building Information Management (BIM) environment.

Currently, I am working on the prestigious (and vast) HS2 Phase 1 project, as a Package Manager for one of the largest sub-lots within N1/N2 route. I am responsible for the coordination and delivery of both scheme design and detailed design of 30 major assets along a 10km stretch of HS2’s N1 route. Holistically, I manage the outputs from a very large design team of circa 300 people to ensure the project is running in line with the programme – and that the final deliverables are coordinated and clash free.

My hope is to be able to become a role model through both my work and as a STEM ambassador to encourage more women to consider engineering as a viable and truly rewarding career path.