Jackie Roe is an experienced Program Director who has spent more than half her life managing some of the world’s most complex, time-sensitive and publicly sensitive infrastructure projects, including the Thames Tideway Tunnel Project, Rio 2016 Olympics and London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. She has also worked in Australia supporting some of our Australian clients deliver their large-scale infrastructure projects, and is currently working on a major clean energy program in the U.K.
We’re connecting 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.
Here, we talked wit Jackie about career, the STEAM heroes who inspire her and what she gets up to outside of work.
Tell us a bit about what you’re working on these days.
Having spent nearly eight years in the U.K. working on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project in London and prior to that on the Rio 2016 and London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, last year I took the opportunity to travel to Sydney. There, I worked with a variety of our Jacobs teams to share major infrastructure project best practice and key learnings, as well as to help steer and support some of our clients as they embark on larger and more complex infrastructure projects and programs than ever before. Since returning to the U.K., I have joined the integrated client team at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, where Jacobs is a Strategic Partner helping EDF to bring the U.K. its first new nuclear power station in more than two decades.
What’s your favorite part of your role?
As a Program Manager, the fantastic variety that comes from bringing together fabulously talented people with diverse skills, competencies, experience and ideas to tackle the many challenges and find the optimum way to deliver the most complex of programs for our clients. No day is the same, I’m continuously spinning a multitude of plates covering health, safety and wellbeing, commercial, program controls, engineering, environment, quality, legacy and sustainability, integration, governance, assurance, team building, and nurturing our relationship with our clients and our many stakeholders. You can’t beat it!
Who are some of the heroes who inspired you to pursue a career in STEAM?
I’ve never considered myself as having heroes, but if I reflect back on my career, my heroes are all those engineers I’ve worked with along the way who were passionate about what they did, brought much fun and laughter to every new task, who were happy to take time out to answer my never ending stream of questions and who encouraged me to jump with both feet into the next challenge on my career path. Even now, after 30 years in construction, I continue to add names to the heroes list!
When you think of engineers or engineering as a hero, what does that mean to you?
They are simply those that plan, design, construct and maintain the infrastructure that enables society to flourish, and which most people take for granted.
If you aren’t working, what would we be most likely to find you doing?
Checking out what’s on at the local comedy club, theater or venue. Without the atmosphere of the crowds, the online gigs during the COVID-19 restrictions didn't quite hit the spot and so it really is great to be able to return to live shows once again.
Most interesting career moment?
That’s a difficult one, because the most interesting career moment is usually the next one, when I’m embarking on a new challenge and learning something new! Some of those moments have been crawling around the nooks and crannies of the London Underground, accessing corridors and stations that have been closed for 50+ years , still with the old advertising on the walls; encountering and engaging with protestors on one or two of our projects, and having to look up many of the unrecognizable terms in the risk registers and reports from my team when I took over managing the delivery of the extensive landscaping works on the London 2012 Olympic Park... That was a whole new world for me!
What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Working as Deputy Program Director on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project in London. It’s a challenging and exciting project with an exemplary collaborative culture and a hugely talented team — from the client all the way through the supply chain — with one aim: To clean up the River Thames and reconnect Londoners with the river. It was very hard work but also an absolute joy to work on the project.
Most proud career moment?
As someone who has spent most of their career building civil infrastructure that is either buried or hidden from public view and very much taken for granted by those who benefit from it, wandering around the Olympic Park with my family on the first day of competition at the London 2012 Games was pretty spectacular. Overhearing people saying how fabulous the park was, that even the utilities buildings were architecturally stunning and knowing that I and my team had been instrumental in making it happen, was a very proud moment. And even more so now, ten years on, when you see the park thriving, having delivered on our legacy promises.
What advice would you give to young professionals?
Grab every opportunity you can, even if it’s not the big, glamorous project you were hoping for. Some of the smallest projects and the oddest roles can be the most interesting with the best opportunity for learning new skills. Ask lots of questions along the way - in all my years in this industry I have never worked with anyone that hasn’t been eager to share their knowledge and experience. And, make the most of the great people you work with, including having fun with them.
People would be surprised to know that I….
Have been lucky enough to have set foot on every continent of the planet. Next stop, the moon!
What do you enjoy most about being part of the Jacobs family?
You’ve hit the nail on the head with the question….it does feel like a family, with a very warm welcome wherever you go, no matter where you are in the world. But as someone who thrives on exciting work and solving complex challenges, the biggest draw for me is the myriad of fantastic opportunities to work on some of the most interesting and iconic projects in the world.
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