For International Women in Engineering Day 2022 we’re excited to bring you a series of interviews with some incredible #OurJacobs women from around the world. In this article meet Eva Bonaccorsi and learn how she got to where she is today, why she was attracted to a career in STEAM and what she thinks is the best part of working at Jacobs.
Let's talk with Eva:
Tell us what you’re working on these days.
I’m a highways engineer based in Edinburgh, working on the A9 Dualling Scheme, one of Scotland’s largest transport infrastructure programs. I’ve been working on this project on and off for about five years, starting as an intern during my summer break from university and subsequently as a graduate engineer when I joined Jacobs full-time. I continued working through the various design stages of the program while completing my graduate development program and now assist the project manager in various project deliverables.
What led you to this point on your career path?
I think the most important choice I made that led me to where I am today was to move to the U.K. to go to university. I faced many challenges adjusting to life in a new country with a different culture, and that has helped me to be able to deal with situations outside of my comfort zone, including work-related ones. The people around me have also helped me to this point in my career, including my team and my line manager. I’m thankful to have a manager who always supports my career development and provides me with opportunities, new challenges and responsibilities, with the right level of support.
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEAM?
A STEAM career was a natural choice for me because I really enjoyed those subjects in high school. I’ve been lucky enough to have mentors and teachers from those disciplines who really inspired me, and received great support during my studies.
Tell us about a memorable project you’ve worked on that has helped build a brighter future.
Working on highways projects means that I’m contributing to providing better infrastructure and enabling economic growth through improved road safety and journey times as well as better links to pedestrian, cycling and public transport facilities.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?
I’ve learned the importance of working as a team. Early in my career, I would spend time at the end of the working day completing a task because I wanted to do it “my way” to achieve the standard I had in mind. I would prefer to do it by myself rather than ask for support and rely on others. I thought it would be quicker that way, but I was wrong, and that was the most important lesson I’ve learned to date. Working in a team brings value and efficiency — what we can accomplish as a team is greater than what the individual can achieve. I believe there’s also more sense of achievement when completing projects as part of a team. Part of the lesson I’ve learned is the importance of clear communication, which is in my opinion vital for successful teamwork.
“Working in a team brings value and efficiency — what we can accomplish as a team is greater than what the individual can achieve. ”
What does the future of engineering look like to you?
I think the future of engineering will include exciting new tools and technologies for engineers to provide more efficient solutions. This is something I’m already experiencing in projects I’m working on. For example, in the last couple of years, the industry has seen the development of projects with the aid of software and technologies in a 3D data environment where information can be stored and managed in a collaborative way across the disciplines. This is called Building Information Modelling (BIM) — it enables higher efficiency during the design stage and higher productivity during the construction stage.
If you could tell your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for clarifications — even if what is being discussed appears to be obvious to everyone else in the room.
People would be surprised to know that I…
I recently started to explore the field of generative art — art generated by computer — that can be “printed” with a robot called “pen plotter.” You can see my recent works on Instagram.
What do you enjoy most about being part of #OurJacobs?
I enjoy being part of a diverse team and working with colleagues around the world. At the moment I’m working in collaboration with colleagues in Poland and India — I really enjoy discovering new cultures, new ways of thinking and different ways of approaching challenges.
About the interviewee
Eva Bonaccorsi moved to the U.K. from her home country of Italy after high school to go to university and now lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has a large family spread across many countries and loves to visit them whenever possible. She likes to spend her free time working on creative projects, and in 2021 produced a tiles mural in honor of her hometown.
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