Kelly Smith is a postgraduate student at the University of Chester, studying Flood Risk Assessment Modelling and Engineering MSc
Why did you choose construction?
I chose construction because of all the incredible avenues that it could take me down for future career prospects. It would give me the ability to be outdoors and active whilst working and having a brief opportunity to be indoors when the weather wasn’t so appealing. I also enjoy the ability to be dynamic and work with various different stakeholders across any normal day. I have a short attention span and a very active personality so the construction industry was perfect for me.
You are hoping to take your postgraduate study in flood risk to PhD level. Why particularly this area?
Even the avenue that I’ve chosen to go down for that is particularly challenging;
I have chosen to do a unique PhD in which I write the proposal and I dictate the way in which I want the research to be conducted. I am truly the leader of my own education. I also choose my own supervisor according to the research that they’ve previously done, the students that they’ve supervised and the subject areas they currently teach.
“Similar to the Latham report or the Egan report, I would like to create something which provides guidance for the construction industry specific to flooding”
Similar to the Latham report or the Egan report, I would like to create something which provides guidance for the construction industry specific to flooding.
What I notice from working in the construction industry is that people only work towards the criteria that are set out for them. If the guidance legislation and policy is more stringent, the quality of product and service received by the service users and society at whole will be much better – and far fewer incidents will occur following better quality construction.
What are your career ambitions?
I am incredibly ambitious. Within the CIOB and CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) I want to become fully chartered, and in education I would like to attain my PhD then get an undergraduate in mechanical engineering from a technical college, because I enjoy using the tools and machines.
Finally in my career I would like to be the permanent secretary for DEFRA or Housing and Urban Affairs. This would allow me to influence the policies that the industry follows.
How do you spend your spare time?
Prior to covid I used to enjoy swimming every week but since then my cycling and hiking has increased. I also have a keen interest in combat robotics. I’m incredibly grateful for nature and I like spending as much time as possible in it or sitting by the seafront to think.
Follow Kelly Smith’s construction progress on Instagram.