London, UK,

Make it matter

Yvette Hughes, P.Eng. Senior Associate Materials Engineer, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador

Last week marked my 20th year at Amec Foster Wheeler and close to 30 years as an engineer. This milestone made me reflect upon where I started in my career and the great opportunities that have brought me to today. When I chose a career in engineering nearly three decades ago, I knew this path would lead to interesting times ahead. The journey has been more rewarding than I could have imagined.

At Amec Foster Wheeler, we talk about connected excellence in all we do. Every day I get to work with colleagues, both men and women, who like me, pursued a career in science, technology and engineering. Being a part of that team has inspired me both personally and professionally, and made me realize the importance of what we do. Engineering touches every aspect of day-to-day life.

I recently attended a Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) Newfoundland event and had the honour of listening to a renowned Canadian Scientist speak about her 50+ year career in science research. She attributed her childhood interest in science to learning how to bake and the curiosity about the chemistry that made it happen - an unlikely association so many years ago. For me, I was interested in how things were built from an early age and maths made sense to me, but more importantly, I was encouraged by many teachers and mentors over the years and knew there was no reason why I couldn’t be an engineer.

As a mother, I see the next generation of young women and men choosing their career paths and I hope that they will be inspired to pursue a STEM career and help us solve the world’s most critical challenges. First and foremost, make the choice to pursue a career that you are passionate about. If engineering is your passion, then you have chosen a rewarding and valuable career. As you start on that journey, find your mentors and reach for the opportunities. The journey moves quickly - so make it matter.

Would I choose the same path? Most definitely!


Meet the blogger

Yvette HughesYvette is a Civil Engineer with a Master’s degree in Concrete Materials Technology. She has close to 30 years’ experience as a Civil Engineer in the construction industry. She has provided construction materials engineering, geotechnical engineering and QA/QC services for various civil infrastructure projects including offshore concrete structures, dams, bridges, commercial, industrial and healthcare facilities, parking garages, wind turbines, multi-storey buildings, airports, pipelines, marine structures, highway construction and subdivisions.

During 1990 to 1995, she managed a Site Team that provided construction materials engineering and QC services for the Hibernia Gravity Base offshore structure at Bull Arm, NL. She has also worked as a Business Unit Manager responsible for supporting discipline leads in servicing client needs, developing and meeting performance targets consistent with Amec Foster Wheeler’s local business model and managing human resources.