This article is written by Sophie Philp. Sophie is 14 years old and is completing her Apprenticeship in Civil Engineer.
Hi WIB, I am Sophie Philp, fourteen years old and live in central Scotland where it rains a lot. For the last few years I’ve been participating in the STEM academy at my local high school where we have been learning lots of cool stuff about technology (playing with all the various digital tools including BIM software!) and how it can help our planet, especially how it can support how we deal with our climate emergency. I am what you would probably call a digital native and like most teenagers I am always on-line and constantly collaborating virtually with friends which was really important during lockdown.
When I eventually leave school, I want to use technology in a way that will make the world a better place and solve problems. When I realised that construction and what’s called the built environment is not just about men building stuff but a way of improving people’s lives, I decided I wanted to become a Civil Engineer. I had visited the Institute of Civil Engineers as a kid and met Brunel (well an actor playing him I think!) who explained what civil engineers do and the value they bring. I am pretty good at physics and was a Minecraft ninja so I thought I had a good starting point but realised I would need new skills and experience. So, I have started college, 2 days a week, a modern foundation apprenticeship in Civil Engineering.
You would probably not be surprised if you found out that I am the only girl in the class of 13 boys! But that’s fine, everyone is friendly and hopefully I can help inspire other girls to follow by telling them about how interesting it is and if you like technology and solving problems this is a good education and career choice. I think role models are important for young girls and I have been lucky enough to know many women in construction and indeed as a kid got to know many of you (you know who you are)! So perhaps you have played a part already in my journey. Dad (@ThePhilpster) reckons it was a copy of the “Dummies guide to BIM” he gave me that inspired me, he even signed it, LOL!
Outside of school I love playing football with my team Falkirk Girls, where we learn about teamwork and becoming leaders. Playing with a cool team and learning how to cooperate is I think an important skill. We encourage each other a lot and hopefully WIB will continue to inspire and bring women in digital and construction together, and help teenagers like me keep pushing.