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Insights Nassima's experience working in our Power, Grid and Industrial Solutions team

Since writing this blog Nassima has moved onto a different position in the company as team leader in the Waterpower and dams business unit. We wish Nassima the very best of success in this new role. 

At AtkinsRéalis, we foster an environment of continuous learning and development. This means, just like Nassima, you receive the right support and training to help you learn and acquire what you need to succeed.

As part of our #PeopleDriveResults campaign, we caught up with Nassima from our Power, Grid and Industrial Solutions team. 

image of Nassima smiling

What does a civil engineer do?

Civil engineers plan, design, and manage the construction and maintenance of building and infrastructure projects, from buildings to bridges and roads, that form the backbone of modern society using innovative technology and solutions

We ensure projects meet safety standards, oversee construction, and assess and maintain infrastructure. Our work incorporates sustainability and considerations of environmental impact, aiming to create a durable, efficient, and safe built environment.

Overall, civil engineering requires a strong understanding of mathematics, physics, and engineering principles, along with excellent problem-solving and communication skills. 

It’s a field that offers a rewarding opportunity to contribute to the development and improvement of communities.

Can you tell us a bit about your career path?

After graduating as a Civil Structural Engineer, I immigrated to Quebec, where I began developing a career as a design engineer in the field of institutional building structures.

I then shifted my focus to the hydraulic structure division at AtkinsRéalis. I discovered that hydro is a vast field with complex structures, where innovation is an important part of the design phase.

Over the years, I’ve been involved in several major projects where I was able to stand out by leveraging my skills. I’ve subsequently overseen numerous exciting projects

[Update: I’ve also recently been appointed to team leader in the Waterpower and dams business unit.] 

What drove you to become a civil structural engineer?

Engineering is my passion. I’ve always been drawn to construction, architectural achievements, the interdisciplinary collaboration around designs, and the end result of projects execution.

I’ve come a long way in civil structural engineering. I’m still driven by the same passion I’ve always had when I work on various projects and when we can meet engineering challenges as a team. 

I’d also like to add that I want to keep working as an engineer because I’m surrounded with great coworkers and they help fuel my passion.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on?

One of the coolest things I've enjoyed working on is a concrete structure with alkali-aggregate reaction issues, which causes the concrete to expand and crack. 

I’ve conducted analyses to assess and anticipate any shifting of the concrete foundation over the next 10 to 30 years. 

I’ve also analyzed the impact of this shifting on the connecting steel structure and proposed corrective measures. I find it exciting to be able to predict, quantify, and address structural behaviours.

What’s had the greatest impact on your career development and career goals so far?

The opportunity to work on interesting projects as a team, coaching from senior colleagues, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing with experts in their field, and the recognition I’ve received played a huge part in helping me move up the career ladder and reach my career goals. 

The professional development opportunities at AtkinsRéalis drive me to do more, push myself to succeed, and take on new challenges in various aspects of my work.

What is the best advice you were ever given? Who gave it to you?

“Persevere and don’t give up”, that's the advice my father gave my siblings and me. 

It allowed us to move forward in life, draw from deep within ourselves, get back up and see our projects through. His advice is still a guiding light for my ideas and ambitions.

What is your favourite quote and why?

Albert Einstein: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” 

This quote inspires me greatly because it adds a more human dimension based on the need to be a reliable, fair, and honest person who helps others.

Tell us about an empowering experience you’ve had.

My colleagues and I were recently inspecting a bridge in the rehabilitation phase of an existing dam.

As it turned out, we were an all-female team of engineers. 

We were surprised to see that despite the cold, drivers rolled down their windows and shouted: “Girl power!” The support made us smile. We felt proud and found it gratifying.

With only 19.8 percent female-identifying engineers nation-wide in Canada, there’s still work to be done, but a shift in culture and initiatives such as the ExcELLEnce ERG (Employee Resource Group) at AtkinsRéalis, are helping to reshape a diverse and inclusive industry.

Are you thinking of developing a career in civil engineering?

If you're passionate about shaping the world we live in and contributing to the creation of sustainable, innovative, and impactful infrastructure, apply for civil engineering jobs at AtkinsRéalis. 

Embrace the opportunity to work on diverse and challenging projects, make a tangible difference in communities worldwide, and join the dynamic team in Canada.