26th February 2018

YoE: What inspires an engineer’s creativity?

We are passionate supporters of the UK Government’s Year of Engineering. At Thomasons we have long recognised the importance of encouraging young people to consider civil and structural engineering as a career.

We see this campaign as a great way to promote and celebrate our sector and are delighted to be involved with the ongoing activity.

This month, as part of the initiative’s calendar of themes, we explore the complementary concepts of creativity and inspiration, crucial considerations for any engineer.

In order to find out what gets the Thomasons team’s creative juices going, we asked some of our young engineers to tell us what fires their imagination.

Clare Kennedy, Structural Engineer, Manchester: “Last year I was fortunate enough to visit Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I was particularly interested by the exhibition highlighting how Gaudí would hang a weighted string from the ceiling to see how natural arches would form. With such a simple technique he was able to design one of the most iconic buildings in the world. For me this is something to aspire to; taking a complex structure back to first principles and developing the design into the architect’s desired vision.”

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Corina Elena Robea, Structural Engineer, Guildford: “Creativity comes with the job and is put to test from the very beginning, starting with the smallest project. Sometimes the crazy ideas from one can prove to be perfect for another. Fundamentally, it’s important to not be afraid of letting go of perceived certainties and thinking outside the box. Inspiration comes from everything, including an old attic or a colleague’s joke, you just have to pay attention.”

Ewa Ambrosius, Associate (Structural Engineer), London: “As a structural engineer I am continuously inspired by the feeling of purpose. My work is of value to the community and knowing that, for example, the new Chase Farm Hospital design will enhance the service the patients will receive, motivates me to do better every day.”

Chase Farm Hospital, Enfield

Kalpesh Chavda, Associate (Structural Engineer), Leeds: “When structural form and visual elegance meet. Structure expressed as architecture in this way has always been an inspiration to me.  We all have an understanding of proportion and beauty, structures which perfectly balance these qualities really speak to that inner sense.”

Thomas Roberts, Structural Engineer, Birmingham: “I have a few ways to get ideas when working a solution. First, I will ask myself “How can I make this as simple as possible?”. Secondly, I force myself to think of a couple of solutions. If you take this approach, it’s easier to see things in a new light, you can tweak the original or borrow the best parts of each.”

What inspires you? We would love to know. Get in touch and tell us what inspires your designs.