A coffee with… Olivia Blackhurst for International Women’s Day

Article posted on: 8th March 2021

Engineering and construction careers have long been considered a male dominated industry – we challenge this! A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. In fact, we have a longstanding history of proactively working to bridge the gap on gender diversity within the workplace.

This International Women’s Day we’re shining a spotlight on some the fantastic women in our business and celebrating their achievements. We caught up with Graduate Engineer, Olivia Blackhurst to find out her proudest career moment to date and what she hopes the future will hold for our industry.

Take it away Olivia…

Tell us briefly about your role as a Graduate Civil and Structural Engineer
I started working for Clancy in September 2019 as a Graduate Civil and Structural Engineer. Since then I have worked as part of the Liverpool Office team to design Concrete and Steel structures as well as drainage design.


Finish this sentence ‘The most satisfying part of my job is…’
The most satisfying part of my job is the ability to exceed expectations. Whether they be my own, or other members of the team I am working in. A rare, but satisfying event is to be able to visit the construction site and see the completed structure I have designed. This experience gives me a great sense of accomplishment.


Favourite piece of engineering or infrastructure project in the world, and why
The Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. I remember watching a programme about large scale structures and the engineer working on this project was a woman. The project itself was innovative and complex for its type, and for me to see a woman being responsible for this really solidified to me that there were no limitations on what I could accomplish in this field. The engineer was Erleen Hatfield.


Proudest air-punch moment in your career to date
Completing the concrete frame design on a multistorey building in Sheffield was something I didn’t think I would ever be able to do. Finalising it and seeing it come together felt like a real milestone in what I have been able to achieve so far.


What’s the most helpful advice you have been given (in life or career)
To ask questions. Ask everyone and ask a lot. The worst thing you can do is sit in silence toiling over something or digging yourself into a deeper hole. There is nothing wrong with needing help.


Future trends – what changes do you see/would you like to see in the industry over the next 10 years
I would like to see more growth in diversity within the industry.


Lastly, any hidden talents you want to share?
I can play the flute and Piccolo.

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