Name: Rachel Tsang
Position: Structural Engineer
Company: Cornell Engineers
What do you enjoy the most, working in the field of construction & development?
As a structural engineer, who mainly specialises in residential construction, I commonly design residential structures and perform site inspections during and after construction to ensure they are properly constructed for its intended purpose and capable of resisting environmental challenges. Watching the project progress to completion is the most rewarding and enjoyable part of my job. Being able to make a contribution to buildings that matter to the community also gives a great sense of satisfaction and achievement.
Where do you see your life in the next 5 years, what possibilities are ahead of you?
I believe in the next 5 years I will remain working in this field and hopefully become a registered structural engineer continuing to help develop the community. I would also like to mentor and assist those who are fresh in the industry and have the opportunity to share my story and knowledge to influence the next generation into considering working in this field.
If you could write a letter to a 13-year-old ‘you’ what would you say?
I would say that there are going to be a lot of challenges along the way to overcome but it will all be worth it. This field can be challenging but if it is what you enjoy and find interesting then just keep pushing yourself to achieve your goals. Forget about any stereotypes as your knowledge and skills are what’s most important.
What are 3 skills you have had to develop to get to where you are presently?
- Communication: Engineering can be quite technical and rely on concise and accurate communication between colleagues. I also communicate with people outside of the field such as homeowners, builders and architects. It is important to translate technical knowledge into terms that can be understood by others.
- Problem-solving and thinking outside the box: Construction has such a wide range of possibilities and every job is different. Problem-solving is essential to work out solutions to various problems.
- Attention to detail: Every project requires close attention to detail from start to finish including the design, drafting, and inspection stages. This is essential to ensure nothing critical gets missed or forgotten as it could potentially affect the project.