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Insights 2018 New Faces of Civil Engineering: Introducing a future star of our industry

Every year, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) identifies an exceptional group of rising talent within the civil engineering industry across the globe. Their aim is to highlight “New Faces of Civil Engineering,” selecting 10 outstanding young professionals who are 30 years of age or younger and exemplify the future of the profession.

This year, Neeraj Kumar Sharma was one of 10 professionals who was officially recognised at the ASCE’s annual Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Gala on 15 March, in Arlington, Virginia, USA.  In addition to this honour, he will receive a special invitation to apply for the ASCE sponsored Emerging Leaders Alliance. His mentor and project lead, Abhishek Jain gives us an insight into Neeraj Kumar Sharma’s work ethic and passion:

“I have had the opportunity of working with Neeraj for the last three years at Atkins on a number of projects. In my opinion, his strong commitment, ability to accept constructive criticism and can-do attitude makes him a favourite for any project lead. The number of internal and external accolades he has received in just a few years is demonstrative of his hard work and strong work ethic."

Find out more about his achievements in our interview.

Tell us the process of applying for the award?

It’s all in the preparation. Before applying, I had a thorough browse of the ASCE New Faces of Civil Engineering website to understand what type of questions they were asking. They ranged from engineering achievements in design, research, development and management – to my general enthusiasm about engineering and what it meant to me. They also put particular emphasis on volunteering and mentoring activities. Thus, I needed some time to introspect deeply and subsequently come up with answers that aptly reflected my experience, motivations and ambitions.

What does this mean to you as an individual, both professionally and personally?

Simply being recognised among of pool of such gifted and talented individuals, gives me immense satisfaction, joy and pride. This award is a fantastic way to promote civil engineering among my colleagues and friends and puts the spotlight on young engineers working in our industry.

Personally, this recognition has undoubtedly raised my profile, both within and outside the company and I find people in general are now more interested in knowing about my career. From a business perspective, I want to tap into the buzz this award has generated to attract potential clients, partners and collaborators. It’s a great way to showcase the diverse skill-sets that we have in our organisation. I have also collected the Atkins Geotechnical Network Award for Rising Star on 28th February at the ICE global headquarters. So, I’m looking forward to the exciting prospects that this brings.

Tell us what you’ve got planned next

Winning this award has enhanced my credibility externally, so I feel like it’s opened up a whole world of opportunities for me. My alma maters (Imperial College London and BIT Mesra) have recently contacted me to share my story with them and I have used such platforms to further the cause of civil engineering among the impressionable minds of tomorrow. In the future, I would love to involve myself further in the CSR volunteering activities and events conducted by professional institutions such as the ICE and ASCE with the hope that more people become aware of the role of civil engineers in our society.