Anna Wendt Engineer of the year
Congratulations to Anna Wendt who has won the Engineer of the Year (Building Services) award at this year’s Women in Construction Awards which provide a showcase for the brightest and the best female achievers in the housebuilding and wider construction industries. The award is a great accolade and real acknowledge of Anna’s expertise, knowledge and hard work.
Based in Newman Street, Anna is part of BuroHappold Engineering’s facade team. She joined the team as a graduate engineer in 2007 and has continued to develop her career in facades where she plays an integral role in the success of the division Anna gives a small insight in to why she was chosen for this great accolade and what it means to her.
“I come from a family of engineers, although I’m the first female in the family to take on the profession so I was always surrounded by the idea of it. When I was younger I was initially drawn to buildings and how they worked: as I got older my interest in architecture grew and I knew I wanted to design buildings. Choosing a degree in architectural engineering which balanced structural and MEP engineering with architecture allowed me to learn about many of the aspects that contribute to a complete building design. I actually stumbled across facade engineering as a discipline during research for my dissertation and it seemed like the perfect mix of many of the subjects undertaken during my degree. At the time I was considering pursuing architecture as a career rather than engineering however facade engineering really grabbed my interest as it allowed me to develop my knowledge of materials and required the application of building physics and structural design in a way that highly impacts and influences the architectural design.
“I’d like to think my genuine enthusiasm and motivation for my discipline comes across through my proactive approach to both project and people leadership. The exposure to world class projects I have had during my time at BuroHappold has hugely contributed to my success and allowed me to develop an integrated design approach through the collaboration and engagement of teams of people. I think it’s important to have a balance of key engineering skills and softer skills; recognition, respect and open communication are important contributors to what make me a good engineer. The Women in Construction Awards are an amazing acknowledgment of the influence and key role women now have within the construction industry. The judging panel were keen to understand how I was a “shining example to women looking to follow a similar career path”. I’d like to think that I can be a positive example to both men and women. I hope my award is encouragement to young females that our contribution does matter and we are recognised as being equals to our male peers. Success shouldn’t be based or measured on gender, race or any other diversity category. It is well recognised and researched that a diverse company is more successful than a homogenous one. The engineering industry is embracing that and accepting individuality ensuring that we each learn from each other and recognise the valuable contribution each of us can provide.
“The amazing support and opportunities I’ve had within the facade engineering team at BuroHappold so far have provided me with a great basis on which to keep building my career. I hope to play a key role in growing and developing the facade team on an international basis, offering the same support, insight, and expertise I was given to help people grow and reach their potential. I’m keen to broaden my specialism and develop a role on integrated design projects, improving our offer of a seamless multidisciplinary service to provide complete holistic buildings which have a positive impact on the built environment.”