Who you are and what your current role is?
Lucy Howard, Infrastructure Markets Lead at Turner & Townsend and co-chair of the Project 13 Capable Owner working group
What was your route into the industry?
One grandfather led gangs fitting out ships on the Tyne and the other was a Technician and could deconstruct (and sometimes rebuild) anything. Engineering skipped a generation however as my parents went into journalism. I got into the industry firstly because we have fantastic STEM engagement into schools that led to me studying the Thrust Supersonic car up close at a pre-university course which really got me thinking. Secondly I’m working class and being sponsored at university was absolutely essential to financing going to London Imperial. So my first stint was with my sponsors Taylor Woodrow for 14 years to Senior Project Manager before 9 years at Turner & Townsend to now on our Infrastructure Board. Ive seen the trainsformative impact of infrastructure first hand at the kickstarting redevelopment of Kings Cross Underground, in Shoreditch with the East London Line and in the Docklands with their very successful Light Rail. More recently I get to see that at the scale of our teams work across the UK. I’ve been involved in movements to reshape the way the industry interacts with itself and others through Project 13 and then with the CBI on Programmes with Purpose. So I’ve in equal measure had a career that involves the engineering in leading railway stations and route constructions and using the family communication skills to convey vital messages to others on industry transformations and work winning.
What was your involvement with G4C and how it has helped in you in your career?
I came into G4C having won Graduate Civil Engineer of the Year and was curious to hear more perspectives outside my own professional institution. I enjoyed G4C exploring any issue and discussing how all participants could help drive better outcomes. I was elected chair and brought together a network of networks from across the construction institutions which gave us a wide audience. Hiring out the science museum engineering halls for our big event of the year is a particularly fond memory. Having that relevance in industry benefitted my career and continues to do so. Several years later I went on to chair the Project 13 Future Leaders panel and having chair of G4C on my application can only have strengthened it, that’s led on to other opportunities like co-chairing the Capable Owner workstream on P13s development team. The experience galvanised in me a fearlessness when it comes to using my engineers brain to tackle significant industry challenges, whilst knowing how to collaborate with others to bring about systematic change at pace.
To find out more about G4C Tees Valley please click here