A coffee with… Dorothea Tomeli on International Women in Engineering Day

Article posted on: 23rd June 2021

Happy International Women in Engineering Day!

We’re taking part in the International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) campaign again this year. Close to our hearts, the annual event is vital in raising the profile of women in engineering and focusing the attention on the amazing career opportunities available to women and girls in this exciting industry.

With female engineers still only comprising 12% of the UK engineering workforce, this year’s INWED theme is Engineering Heroes, to celebrate the amazing work that women engineers around the world are doing. We’re profiling our inspirational women in engineering, who recognise a problem, then dare to be part of the solution and hope to encourage more women and girls to consider a career in engineering.

We caught up with Dorothea Tomeli, Graduate Civil Structural Engineer, who works remotely with our Norwich office whilst currently residing in Greece. Dorothea shares her most helpful life and career advice and opens up about her engineering hero who, born in 1837, is still an influence today!

Take it away Dorothea >>

Who is your engineering hero and why?

My favourite hero in engineering is Ernst Moritz Theodor Ziller, who was born in 1837 in Germany and he became an architect. In 1861, he moved to Greece and he later acquired a Greek citizenship. He has designed more than 40 buildings in Greece, such as Ermoupolis Town Hall (which is my hometown). This building is one of the largest and most impressive Town Halls in the country, built in 1876. It is a three-story building, presenting three different architectural styles. Ziller is considered as the representative of neoclassicism in Greece. Since I was a child passing by this extraordinary building, I always admired this piece of art, and this feeling became an inspiration for me. 

What’s the most helpful advice you have been given (in life or career)?

My parents always support me, especially during the beginning of my career. One of their most important pieces of advice is not to give up and try harder for a better result. We are all facing difficulties but we have to deal with them, become stronger and carry on. We have to be proud of our achievements and to work on what we really love to do. Their advice makes me active and able to achieve my dreams.

What led you to choosing a career in engineering?

I have always had a great interest in Civil and Structural engineering because of the impacts that both of these sectors have in our lives. I am impressed by modern buildings, neoclassical, gothic architecture etc. and I always had the enthusiasm to learn how these buildings are constructed. Since I was 13 years old, I remember saying I want to become a building engineer, or an architect, or a professional relevant to this sector. I am proud of myself for achieving my dream and I am happy with my career so far.

Favourite project you’ve worked on at Clancy and why?

A recent job that I enjoyed to work on was at Weybourne Road, in Sheringham. The proposal includes an adoptable road in a new residential area, consisting of houses, parking bays, gardens, plus a care home. I had to design surface and foul water for 1 in 100 year’s rainfall event plus 40% climate change, and to provide a sufficient solution. It was a challenging project, as the site is steep and the ground conditions vary. By taking these factors in account, each house had to be designed individually, following their surrounding levels and conditions. I then had to combine the drainage and to allow for surface and foul water connections to the local adoptable systems.

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