Katherine Chimenes

Structural Engineer

"Arup provides support to help me complete my engineering chartership in the future."

Katherine’s career with Arup began through two summer placements she obtained by applying to the company during her university studies in Civil Engineering at UCL. She subsequently successfully applied to the Arup graduate scheme and is currently working as a structural engineer.

I joined Arup as a graduate in 2017. Having already undertaken summer placements here, I knew that this was a place where I wanted to work. There’s an incredible community of great thinkers who are not only creative and knowledgeable, but also very approachable and willing to help.

It is not unusual for a director to take the time to explain technical concepts to someone early on in their career, or for them to get involved in building analytical models, not shying away from hands-on activities, and that makes a real difference. Every engineer at Arup, no matter their level of experience, still enjoys and prides themselves on designing exciting buildings and structures, and that’s something I admire a lot. As a young engineer, I get to witness great designers at work and learn from them. The passion they bring to their projects is very inspiring.

“No matter how big or small the project I have worked on is, seeing how people interact with and react to these structures is extremely rewarding. Realising that what I've designed touches peoples’ lives is a very humbling and powerful experience. ”

My managers have always encouraged me to challenge myself, develop my skills further, and expand my experience. Arup provides support to help me complete my engineering chartership in the future, and I have also been given opportunities to grow and develop my career by accounting for my personal interests in art, geometry, parametric design, digital, and structural engineering.

Pursuing these interests has given me amazing opportunities to collaborate with the Advanced Digital Engineering group within Arup, such as teaming up with software developers, setting up and attending workshops, and launching a buildings incubator to help shape the digital transformation our industry is undergoing. Additionally, Arup supported me to work on exciting artistic projects with design studios who have approached me.

Even though I have only been here a relatively short period of time, I’ve already worked on some monumental projects – including Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece in Barcelona. The work at Arup has challenged me from the outset, something I have loved.

From La Sagrada Familia to Urban Imprint, a kinetic art sculpture in New York City, no matter how big or small the project I have worked on is, seeing how people interact with and respond to these structures is so rewarding. I know that what I've designed touches peoples’ lives emotionally and physically, and that my work can have an enormous, lasting impact on individuals as well as entire societies.