Priory 6 Careers Talk – Barbara Marino

Posted: 22nd November 2016

Engineering, Construction, and Health and Safety

When Barbara Marino visited Priory 6 last Thursday 17th November, she told the girls that she has two jobs; one as a St Augustine’s mother, and the other as a civil engineer.  Dr Marino started by reminding the girls to take care and to always be observant of signs around the school whilst the building development is happening, as it is when we stop paying attention to our surroundings that accidents happen.  This is known as a ‘safety moment’, Dr Marino told us, something that is mandatory in any meeting of more than five people in her work.


Dr Marino gave the girls some background information on how she got to where she is today.  Her passion for architecture and art developed into an interest in construction, leading her to pursue a PhD from Loughborough University in Construction and Health and Safety.  This led Dr Marino into an 11 year strong career with ARUP, an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists.  Her work focuses on the rebuilding of demolished historic buildings and the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium after it was demolished in 2003 was the first project she worked on for ARUP.

The girls learned that there is no such thing as a typical day for an engineer.  You might be working with a project team, in the office, offsite, or with clients on any given day, “I assure you,” Dr Marino said with a smile, “it is not all high-vis jackets, boots and mud”.  She also worked on the Beijing National Stadium, the ‘Bird’s Nest’, so emblematic of the 2008 Olympics, and said that the highlight of her career so far was working on the London Olympics.  Dr Marino’s current projects include the new Chelsea stadium and Battersea Power Station.


Dr Marino also referred to the fact that there is big gap in the market for female engineers, mentioning the BBC news article ‘The Engineering Gap’ ( which states that only 8% of the engineers in the UK are female.   In autumn 2017 Sir James Dyson is opening his own institute to train engineers, who he says are ‘badly needed’ if UK companies are to remain competitive.   This is good news for anybody who is interested in pursuing a career in Engineering, Dr Marino explained, and there is a variety of different types of engineering available; civil, building, mechanical, nuclear, and sustainability (which not only refers to environmental sustainability but also economical).


Dr Marino said that Nuclear energy is now one of the greenest forms of energy and there is a big generational gap in people who are willing to work with it.  Dr Marino candidly pointed out that where there is a need for a skill, there will always be more money.  She concluded her talk by taking the girls through the path to a career in engineering, and advising them of the top engineering universities that will get them noticed when applying for jobs.  “Make sure you do your research – talk to someone in the industry you are interested in”.

Categories: Senior Sixth Form Whole School