At school, I was a real geography nerd! I enjoyed learning about earthquakes and volcanoes and studying their effect on local people. As part of my research, I started reading about RedR’s humanitarian work and that’s when I first became interested in engineering and disaster relief. Originally I was thinking of studying Geography at University, but I decided to study engineering because with those skills you can actually make a real difference to people’s lives.
While I was studying at University I got involved with the Engineers without Borders society. I ran a workshop for students where we made bricks out of horse manure! I made a compressor to create the bricks and then we baked them in the oven. We tested them against standard bricks and although they weren’t quite as strong, I think it showed that it’s possible to use alternative building materials.
Costain sponsored my engineering degree and they’ve really supported me all the way. I’ve been really lucky and have worked on some great projects; during my year out I worked on at Heathrow airport. The variety has been great.