Today (23rd June) is International Women in Engineering Day and as women across the world are celebrated for the role they play in the engineering sector, HS2 is shining a light on the emerging talent helping to build Britain’s new railway.
21-year-old Hannah Brown from Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire is a rising star on the HS2 project. Having developed a keen interest in engineering from a young age, Hannah knew she wanted to study for a degree in Civil Engineering and in 2019, after studying for her A-Levels at St Aidan’s and St John Fisher Associated sixth form in Harrogate, she began her five-year course at the University of Bath.
Hannah’s HS2 journey began in August 2021 when she started a one-year paid work placement with HS2’s civils contractor Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture (SCS JV). Hannah had always been fascinated by London’s underground tunnel network so the opportunity to secure an ICE QUEST scholarship and join the team building 21km of tunnels, connecting HS2 to its southern terminus at London Euston, was not to be missed.
Hannah said, “I’d always been interested in engineering and it’s fantastic to see how the industry is evolving, with more women stepping forward than ever before.
“HS2 has developed a great culture that makes it a brilliant place to work and when I’ve finished studying, in two years, I definitely want to come back. Hopefully, I’ll return as a site engineer and get to play a key role in completing the Euston tunnels.”
HS2 and its construction partners have committed to upskilling the next generation by providing work experience, paid placements and training that offer pathways into employment with schools, colleges and universities right across the UK.
Louise Dailly, Head of Social Sustainability at SCS JV said, “Hannah is one of many people to benefit from our programmes to encourage young people to take up a career in our industry. We are not only upskilling the next generation but also have pathways to recruitment for people experiencing homelessness, long-term unemployment and people looking to return from an extended period away from the industry.”
Hannah hopes her story will inspire other women to consider a career in engineering and seize the opportunity to play their part in Europe’s biggest infrastructure project.
She added, “For me, the fact that this is a once-in-a-lifetime project really adds to the appeal. I want to be able to look back and say – I was part of the team that built this. And I hope there are thousands more women who’ll be able to say that too.”
For more information about careers and opportunities on HS2, visit: hs2.org.uk/careers
Pictured above: University of Bath student Hannah Brown at the HS2 site