In November, we launched our brand-new series of inspirational talks, I&S Inspires. These talks will take place at the start of the month and will peel back the curtain behind some of the top career pathways. These motivational talks from engaging figures will offer our students amazing opportunities to hear from voices they may not otherwise discover.

Our second speaker, following Gabriel Gatehouse in October, was civil engineer Ed McCann. Ed is a recognised leader in the construction industry, currently holding the post of Vice-President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Over the course of an hour, he shared tales from 25 years in the industry – and the assembled audience of students were spellbound throughout. He gave a quick definition of what a civil engineer is, describing himself as “changing the world – literally”, as what he does literally changes the shape of planet earth. He discussed some of his global projects, including work in Lebanon, Naples, and even pitching a project in Antarctica!

Ed’s work has also been focused closer to home, with recent projects including Chiswick Bridge and Brentford Docks. Eight years ago he was an integral part of the design team for the Olympic velodrome, and he told students several fascinating stories about how his team built the most advanced cycling stadium in the world. It was interesting to hear how Ed and his colleagues constantly refined the design to make the cyclists as fast as possible.

Afterwards, students were given the opportunity to ask questions, and it was fantastic to see them engaging with the topics. This was another very successful talk, giving students an insight into a career that many had never even heard of, let alone considered! Our thanks to Ed for giving up his time to come in and talk to us.

The next talk will take place after Christmas, on Tuesday 14 January (3.00 – 4.00pm). Everyone is welcome to hear from our latest guest Ben Madden, founder of local estate agent Thorgills. Ben will give his unique insight as an entrepeneur, talking to students about starting a business in the competitive housing market. We are looking forward to hearing what he has to say.


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