By way of India and Africa, my journey brought me to the United Kingdom and to AECOM where I now work as a sustainability consultant in London.
My early life in Kenya and Tanzania experiencing the beauty of these countries’ natural environments led to my interest in sustainability. As a result, I pursued a graduate degree in sustainability from University College London after first obtaining an undergraduate degree in architecture in India.
As part of our Buildings + Places group, I help inform and steer design decisions that improve the sustainable performance of buildings, while satisfying client aspirations and statutory requirements. I regularly interact with the various building professionals involved in the project life cycle, including architects, engineers, acousticians, ecologists and general contractors, thus I am constantly expanding my knowledge of each of these areas and how they intersect.
Although it has been a steep learning curve, AECOM has aided my education in several impactful ways. The two-year Graduate Development Program assigns each graduate a mentor, provides key business knowledge through residential training, polishes their soft skills through regular workshops, and provides networking opportunities with other graduates. In addition, the company has supported me in becoming professionally qualified in environmental assessment programs such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method), equipping me to handle a wide array of assignments.
I work on several interesting, technically complex projects across the UK and Europe; one such project is the redevelopment of the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market in the UK — the New Covent Garden Market. With more than 200 businesses, employing over 2,500 people, the Market supplies 40 percent of the fresh fruit and vegetables eaten outside the home in London and is used by 75 percent of London’s florists. I undertook five separate design-stage BREEAM assessments for this master plan project — all certified to a BREEAM Very Good rating. The project is currently in its construction phase, and I am providing ongoing advice until completion of the final certification at the post-construction stage.
I am very fortunate to have a wonderful, highly skilled manager and team who not only meet business needs, but also take the time to guide my personal career aspirations and help me align them with the company’s goals. A work culture where ideas and opinions can be freely expressed and discussed, coupled with constructive feedback is crucial as we are shaped into quality driven professionals.