Young tunnellers at forefront of achievement awards

15 April 2015

GREAT BRITAIN – Two past chairs of the British Tunnelling Society Young Members (BTSYM) have been shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards. Joanne Sui and Anita Wu, both of London Bridge Associates have been nominated for the awards, which were launched over 15 years ago to celebrate the achievements of successful Asian women in British society.

Asked if this represented a growing recognition of the tunnelling industry, Wu agreed, adding: "It also shows the growing number of women in engineering, and that engineering is being correctly recognised by others as an admirable profession."

Sui said: "These awards are targeted at those in a diverse range of industries including business, entrepreneurship and engineering. I hope that people look at our achievements and see that tunnelling is an important industry that is not just a 'man's world'."

And for aspiring tunnel engineers, Sui recommends: "Get as much experience as you can, it's amazing what you can learn from other people. Join [a Young Members' group] and meet new people, there are so many likeminded people in the industry. Always remember that there is plenty more to learn.

Wu added: "Always ask questions and work hard. If you have to put in an extra 20 per cent of effort compared to others to understand something then do put in the extra 20 per cent. Do not be afraid of challenges, see it as an opportunity and grab every opportunity you can."

David Sharrocks, MD of London Bridge Associates commented: "It is to both of their great credit that they have been shortlisted by AWA as high achievers. They do far more than their day job. The fact that they are young Asian women is both important and unimportant. It is important because they do help to encourage other youngsters, other Asians and other women by being visible and by their actions and initiatives. Ultimately the wider the pool of talent that the tunnelling industry can draw upon the better the industry will perform.

"It is unimportant because it is the combination of their personalities, skills, knowledge and experience that enables them to do their jobs as tunnelling engineers on Tideway and the Bond Street Station Upgrade."