Winning awards for her technical prowess and championing of STEM-related careers, structural engineer Roma Agrawal has been pioneering change in the industry. As well as playing a key role in the design of numerous bridges, sculptures and towers, including The Shard, Roma delivers a unique message as a keynote and business speaker to engage young people, institutions and governments around the world with the engineering profession.
Roma Agrawal knew that she belonged in the world of structural engineering.
She is currently a structural engineer at AECOM.
Poised at the melding point between science and design, Roma's engaging keynote and business speeches have sparked a surge of interest in STEM subjects with their unique message – to drive accessibility to underrepresented groups and encourage women to reach the heights of these fields.
Despite a physics degree from Oxford University hanging on her wall (amongst other impressive academic credentials), Roma faced obstacles from the outset as she embarked on the wobbly climb up the ranks of the industry. Proving her detractors wrong, she became an Associate Structural Engineer at WSP and has since worked with some of the biggest names in architecture to bring bridges, skyscrapers and sculptures into being.
Notably, she spent six years working on the Shard, one of the tallest buildings in Europe, for which she designed the foundations and the ‘Spire’. The only woman featured in ‘The Tallest Tower', the Channel 4 documentary about its construction, Roma has become a determined advocate of women playing a more central role in the STEM subjects.
As well as launching the Your Life campaign, which aims to inspire young people to study science, technology, engineering and maths, Roma was part of M&S’s Leading Ladies campaign (2014); is on the Diversity Panel for the Construction Industry Council; and is on the Knowledge Management Board for the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Unsurprisingly, her extensive career towers with prestigious industry awards—including The Diamond Award of Excellence (2014 Engineering Excellence Awards) and the Engineer of the Year award (2014 Women in Construction Awards), to name but a few.
She has been widely featured in the media including BBC Daily Politics and World News, as well as TEDx where she discussed the engineering brand, The Evening Standard, The Independent, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, and Stylist Magazine. She is also dedicated tweeter.
In her passionate promotion of engineering, scientific and technical vocations, Roma is heavily engaged with institutions and government to develop an effective way forward; she has spoken to some 3000 people at over 50 schools, universities and organisations around the world.
Now the Design Manager for Interserve Building Limited, Roma has extended her skills from design into construction. She is also currently working with Bloomsbury Publishing to write Building Storeys, in which she shares fascinating tales of how the world we inhabit was built.
Her speaking topics include:
- Engineering/design and its future
- Engaging women in male-dominated professions
- Promoting STEM to the next generation
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