Engineers Week 2018 - Meet Jennifer Bullingham
Today we talk swimming with whale sharks, iconic bridges and sustainable infrastructure with Jennifer Bullingham.
Since starting with Jacobs as a student engineer, Jennifer Bullingham’s career as a bridge engineer has spanned from Scotland and Shanghai to San Francisco and includes feats such as the iconic Queensferry Crossing located in East Scotland – the world’s longest, three-tower, cable-stayed bridge. Its 23,000-miles of cabling is almost long enough to wrap around Earth and connects the bridge deck to the towers.
During National Engineers Week, Jennifer talks more about her career.
Tell us what you do.
I’m a civil engineer and I worked on the Queensferry Crossing project for five years. This included several areas of the bridge construction, network structures, off-site steel fabrication in Shanghai, and the North Approach Viaduct assembly and launch works. I’m now the project manager for Pacific Gas & Electric’s pilot Electric Vehicle Charge Network program based in San Francisco.
What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?
I’m inspired by the many engineering structures that surrounded me growing up in Scotland. Bridge engineering was always of interest to me due to its functional nature, long spans and complex engineering. Personally, the Forth Bridge is a favorite.
What has been your most exciting career moment so far?
The successful and safe completion of the Queensferry Crossing north approach viaduct launch was the most exciting and proud moment of my career. The launch was a particularly complex and challenging aspect of the bridge construction, which, at one stage, required the viaduct to pivot over a pier in order to achieve its final alignment. The operation involved close, collaborative work with the contractor’s team.
If you could go back in time and work on any engineering project, what would it be?
Given that it’s my favorite, I’d love to have worked on the construction of the Forth Bridge.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The best part of my job is collaborating with my peers to build sustainable infrastructure that assists others in their daily lives and will serve generations to come.
If you’re not in the office, you’re likely…
Hiking in the San Francisco Bay area.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I recently swam with a whale shark in Baja, California – what an amazing experience to swim with the world’s largest fish.
What advice would you give to the future generation of engineers?
Work hard, stay focused and dream big!
Jennifer hard at work on the iconic Queensferry Crossing Project
Swimming with a 41,000lb whale shark in California
Find out more about Jacobs' role on the
Queensferry Crossing in this short video: