Womens Engineering Society: Inspiring women as engineers, scientists and technical leaders

Farheen Mazhar Ahmed

Farheen Mazhar Ahmed

Farheen Mazhar AhmedMy name is Farheen Mazhar Ahmed and I am Senior Highways Engineer. I started my career eleven years ago, in 2003, when I graduated with distinction with Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and started my first job as a graduate engineer in an engineering consultancy based in Karachi, Pakistan.

I worked as a graduate engineer from 2003 till 2005, focusing on highway design work, when I was able to learn MX highway design software, pavement quantities, bill of quantities preparation and technical report writing skills.

I relocated to UK in 2005 as an assistant engineer and started my first job in URS Scottwilson, Telford office. It was a very good learning experience, as I only had experience of American/Middle east design standards. Relocating to UK was the best decision, I have ever made and it changed me and my life completely. I loved my profession and working here in UK provided me the stepping stone to excel in life and move my career forward.

As the journey continued, I left URS Scottwilson in 2007 and joined Atkins as a Highways Engineer. I worked in Atkins from 2007 till 2011, where I worked on numerous schemes ranging from Highways Agency contract schemes to Birmingham City Council maintenance scheme. I feel privileged and proud, to be a part of the existing Birmingham New Street Railway station scheme and was involved in the redesign of existing streets and design of new links to the New Street Station.

The year 2011, is the most important year of my life for three important things, first I got married, second I got my British citizenship and third I moved on to a job which enhanced my experience and took my career to another level. I left Atkins after four years and joined Amey as a Project Engineer for Highways Agency Area 9 MAC (Managing Agent Contract), this was the most exciting job. I was given full flexibility to show my strengths and capabilities. I think I gained a lot of management experience while working in Amey and my confidence grew a lot. I was highways design team leader for three flagship schemes for Highways Agency Pinch Point Programme (PPP).  

In 2013, I was blessed with a lovely daughter who is now 16 months. I took three months maternity leave and this was longest time, I have ever been away from work since I started working in 2003. I left Amey in 2013 as I joined Hyder. Even though I loved my work in Amey and they also wanted me to stay with me, my reasons for moving on was career progression. I wanted to work on some Middle East scheme and Hyder offered me that opportunity.

Hyder has given me the work life balance, which I crucially wanted because of my little one. Everyone in the team has been welcoming, helpful and understanding. My future goal for next year to attain chartered status as it has been long overdue and enjoy my family/work life.


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