Structural engineer, author, and television presenter Roma Agrawal MBE has been pioneering change in the industry and playing a key role in the design of structures including The Shard. Roma delivers a unique message as a keynote and business speaker to engage people around the world while also sharing her personal stories of leadership and resilience.
Structural engineer, author and presenter Roma Agrawal MBE is an inspiring speaker who shares stories about leadership in a male-dominated industry, and especially how they relate to her personal struggles, engaging talks about exciting innovations in engineering and construction, and motivational speeches to young people interested in careers in design, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Her mission is to drive accessibility to underrepresented groups and encourage women to reach the heights of their fields. Her speeches on leadership and confidence, and the panel discussions she’s chaired have inspired many to pursue their dreams.
With a unique academic background, including a physics degree from Oxford University hanging on her wall, Roma experienced both obstacles and exciting opportunities from the outset as she embarked on her climb up the ranks of the industry. She has worked with some of the biggest names in architecture to bring bridges, skyscrapers and sculptures into being.
As well as being an ambassador of the Your Life campaign, which aims to inspire young people to study science, technology, engineering and maths, Roma was a style ambassador for M&S's Leading Ladies campaign (2014) and Lancome (2017); was on the Diversity Panel for the Construction Industry Council; and was a non-executive director on the board of the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
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. In 2017, she received the prestigious Rooke Award for public promotion of engineering from the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Roma has been involved in numerous documentaries including films on skyscrapers for BBC One’s The One Show, Channels 4 and 5, and the hugely successful Abandoned Engineering was broadcast globally on various networks. 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.
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 50,000 people at over 350 schools, universities and organisations around the world.
Her book, 'BUILT: The hidden stories behind our structures', won the award for Best Science Book (Young Adults) from the American Association of Advancement of Science / Subaru in 2019. It has been translated into eight languages and received rave reviews from The Guardian, Observer, New York Times and more. She is currently writing a children’s book called How Was That Built?
In her personal life, Roma struggled to get pregnant and endured three gruelling rounds of fertility treatment before having her daughter in 2019. She then suffered from post-natal depression and has become passionate about destigmatising issues around infertility and mental health. Roma is one of the rare speakers that honestly shares her story and receives consistent feedback about her openness and vulnerability.