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Q&A: Talking with Regional Growth Director Tammy Harrison-Round

Jacobs’ Regional Growth Director, Quantity Surveying, Major Programs & Projects Group (MPPG), Tammy Harrison-Round talks career, her STEAM heroes and travelling around in her VW campervan.

Tammy Harrison-Round works in our Jacobs’ Quantity Surveying team, which is part of our overarching Major Programs and Projects Group (MPPG). Working with colleagues across the U.K. and India, her team works with local and global clients to provide commercial, contractual and procurement advice throughout their entire project. They work across many sectors such as buildings, highways, rail, water, defense and security.

In honor of International Women in Engineering Day, we’re connecting virtually with our team of engineering heroes around the world to showcase their careers and how each of them help Jacobs to live up to our promise of Challenging today. Reinventing tomorrow.

For this feature, we talked with Tammy about her career, the STEAM heroes who inspire her and travelling around in her VW campervan.

Tell us a bit about what you’re working on these days.

At the moment I am carrying out a commercial role for a number of aviation, highways and rail projects and am supporting growth in the North of England by aligning our business strategy with the goals and challenges of our city clients.

What’s your favorite part of your role?

I love how varied my role is. One day I can be working in defense and security, the next highways or buildings. I really enjoy promoting the profession and encouraging more people to get into quantity surveying. The people I work with inspire me every day. From apprentices to retiring staff I gain something from every interaction I have.

We’re publishing this article in honor of International Women in Engineering Day and this year’s theme is Engineering Heroes. Who are some of the heroes who inspired you to pursue a career in STEAM?

My math’s teacher! She encouraged me to pursue a career in problem solving and supported my learning with extra challenges. Also my Dad, who always believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. People who show mental strength through adversity inspire me. Careers in STEAM don’t just need technical specialists but require people to understand and develop the culture and environment which our diverse engineers need to thrive.

When you think of engineers or engineering as a hero, what does that mean to you?

To me our engineering heroes are the ones who challenge our thinking, are curious, and continually question a better way, supporting others and sharing their knowledge. Heroes don’t know everything.

If you aren’t working, what would we be most likely to find you doing?

When I’m not working, I’m mum to my two children. We are very outdoorsy and love travelling around in our VW campervan, hiking, running and at the moment we are enjoying paddle boarding – falling into cold lakes, not so much!

Most interesting career moment?

I love working on listed buildings and my favorite project was the conversion of a grade II listed building in Chester City Centre into a local free school. We found a secret staircase and a beautiful fireplace behind some demolished walls!

My most interesting, challenging and memorable career moment so far is certainly the huge changes we have all had to make through the recent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was recently awarded a position on the Manchester City Council Business Forum to help support their 2025 strategy to develop a highly skilled and talented city. Understanding how the pandemic has affected our young people, skills and careers in the North of England and aligning our strategic vision with that of our local city leaders is key to recovery. I’m eager to use my skills and knowledge to support our cities’ toughest challenges right now.

Publisher’s Note: According to Historic England, listing marks and celebrates a building's special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.

What would you rate a 10 out of 10?

Lotus Biscoff Crunchy Biscuit Spread! I found this recently and its amazing!

Most proud career moment?

Being awarded a fellowship of the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) during the COVID-19 lockdowns is my proudest moment. 2020 had to mean something else to me than the pandemic alone, and therefore I focused on progressing my professional status by applying to become a fellow. It is important to me to help promote the profession and encourage more women and girls to consider surveying careers and this is an important step to do this.

What advice would you give to young professionals?

Always ask questions – because you can guarantee someone else in the room is thinking it too. In fact, just be curious, you won’t look silly, you’re not expected to know everything – no one ever does. But you are expected to seek out answers to the things you don’t yet know. And be patient – you have to get through years of learning before you become a specialist.

People would be surprised to know that I….

I ran 57 miles across South Africa in under 12 hours at the Comrades marathon in 2016! Although most people already know this because I try to squeeze it into every conversation I ever have. So, many don’t know that I struggle with confidence and I’m not a natural presenter – I have to practise a lot! But like anything you are afraid of, feel the fear and do it anyway is my motto!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Jacobs family?

I’ve been at Jacobs for 13 years and that is almost definitely due to the flexible working options they offer. I’ve been really supported through all the many stages of parenthood – being able to start a family and bring up my two children and also have a career. The people I work with are amazing, talented and caring. It’s great to be part of a culture where people genuinely care about each other.

Join #OurJacobs team

What drives you drives us as we work to build a better world – together. At Jacobs, every day is an opportunity to make the world better, more connected, more sustainable.

We’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision. Let’s see the impact we can create, together.

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