Anna engineers a new career at CALA

Anna  is scaling the heights of CALA’s construction division as an assistant engineer in its Aberdeen office.

Soon after graduating with a first class MEng in Structural Engineering with Architecture (with honours) from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Anna started as a pipeline engineer at EMAS AMC in Oslo and worked there for two and a half years.

When the industry hit a difficult period, Anna was forced to consider her career options after she was made redundant.

Her engineering skillset and her love for architecture led Anna to CALA – specifically, its graduate programme.

She’s now happy spending time doing what she devoted hours to when she was a young girl. Drawing houses … but in a much more complex setting.

Anna, 27, from Moray, said: “CALA’s excellent reputation and commitment to quality made it a natural choice for progressing my career. I was really fortunate that CALA’s graduate programme was still an option for me as other companies were not interested in those made redundant from oil and gas.

“Engineering has opened up more doors than I could have ever imagined when I first started at university. It’s a career you can make your own – whether you want to get into a speciality and work alone, or perform a project management type role with teams of people. I would like to think that, in the future, it is a career that could make a real difference to people.”

Anna spent a year at CALA (Midlands) in Solihull before becoming part of the CALA (North) team in October last year.

Her role at CALA North is very varied; she’s often involved on a project from site inception right through to completion and she meets new people every day.

She explained: “One day, I could be looking at utilities and constraints for a new site and the next day I’m liaising with Scottish Water regarding the vesting of completed sewers. We also manage our external consultants, so I might have to communicate with the local authorities and assist the CALA site managers and sales teams with day-to-day queries.

“It is a role that is required all over the world. While design codes and standards differ, the basic principles remain the same.”

In her role at CALA, Anna loves not being the only woman in the team – a big change from her time in the oil and gas industry. At a recent trip to an NHBC forum, she was just one of three women in a group of 70 men, and she really enjoys demonstrating that women are more than capable of fulfilling technical roles.

In her two years at CALA, Anna harnessed the skills she developed in the oil and gas industry and is dedicating them to homebuilding. And everything is complemented by the people in her team.

She added “CALA only employs passionate people which means we have a great team.

“Whilst redundancy was difficult I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve gained so much experience at CALA and get to meet a lot of interesting people locally and from all over the world.”