A coffee with… Nilani Kanagalingam for Women in Construction Week

Article posted on: 11th March 2021

In the latest edition of our ‘A coffee with…’ feature we caught up with Nilani Kanagalingam, Graduate Engineer. We found out about her proudest air-punch moment to date when she was assigned as Project Engineer responsible for Civil and Structural aspects for the first time, plus her best advice for anyone at the beginning of their career and more!

Over to you Nilani..

Tell us about your role at Clancy
I joined Clancy in October 2019 as a Graduate Civil Engineer with the Norwich team. I am involved in Structural and Civil design projects spanning from residential renovation to new school buildings and drainage design.


Finish this sentence ‘The most satisfying part of my job is…’
I would say the most satisfying part of my job is working with other disciplines to make the clients brief/vision into reality, you get to work with a ton of new people on new tasks every day. In the end being able to see the finished project and saying, “hey I worked on that project”, would give me a great sense of pride and satisfaction.


Favourite project you’ve worked on at Clancy
One of my favourite projects I have worked on so far is a residential development of a new care home at Cresta Lodge, Norwich. The scheme is for a new care village which incorporates a 41-bed care home with communal facilities, 10-one-bedroom extra care apartments and 44 retirement bungalows, together with car parking and ancillary accommodation. I have worked on the drainage design of this project. This was my first large scale project and it being local makes It better.


Proudest air-punch moment in your career to date
Small but proudest air-punch moment in my career to date would be when I was listed as the project engineer responsible for the Civil and Structural aspect of that job by the senior engineer. I felt a great sense of accomplishment and responsibility.


Best piece of advice you would give to new starters at the beginning of their career?
I would say learn from your fellow colleagues. Ask lots of questions that will help to get better understanding and avoid mistakes. Sometimes it can be a stressful environment to work in, so stay kind to yourself.


Future trends – what changes do you see/would you like to see in the industry over the next 10 years
I would like the construction industry to carry on transitioning to a more sustainable way of operating to protect our world. I hope we make greater advancement in renewable energy and make use of more recycled/durable materials in construction. We all have a duty of care for future generations!


Lastly, any hidden talents you want to share?
I love playing badminton and cooking multi-cultural cuisine.   

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