Read stories from women engineers at HS2 about their jobs and what attracted them to a career in engineering.
Here, Dr Sonia Zahiroddiny, Head of Digital Engineering, shares her career history, and what she loves about working at HS2.
With a real fascination for computing, telecommunication and the futurist predictions in the world of technology I studied Computer Networks Technology, during which time I became a Ciso certified Network Engineer. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the different aspects of computing, I wanted to broaden my knowledge of Information Systems and their applications in a business context and so went on to do a MSc in Information Systems Management. Because of my interest in philosophy, exploring questions about knowledge, thought and reality, I enjoyed the research element of the course the most and when the opportunity to undertake a PhD arose, I took it in a heartbeat hoping to bridge the gap between abstract human values, behaviour and science.
Whilst completing my PhD in Computer and Information Sciences, I joined a Digital Transformation programme in Transport for London (TfL) delivering Information Modelling and Management capability to all major engineering projects. Shortly after completing the programme I sought my next challenge and joined HS2, where I saw a great opportunity in transforming the rhetoric to drive a digital mindset. Five years on I am now heading up the Digital Engineering team and became accountable for the delivery of a future-proofed digital transformation programme.
HS2 is my first and the most exciting major project that I’ve worked on, opening up opportunities to not only shape the future of infrastructure but to influence the digital agenda at a national scale and push the boundaries beyond the current working practices to deliver world-class efficiency during design, construction and operation phases of the project. During my time with HS2 I’ve been recognised as a UK construction role model and have participated in several industry and academia led initiatives to encourage young and diverse groups of people to get into Rail and Construction to act as a catalyst for change.
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