Quick Chat with a leading environmental engineer

Meet a Bechtel GM and find out what she is working on, about her motto and what superpower she would like to possess.

Lucy Martin MIEAust CPEng has been an engineer for 16 years and has worked at Bechtel since graduating with a Bachelor of Chemical Process Engineering from the University of Sheffield. She joined Bechtel’s London office as a graduate and has since lived and worked on four continents. Lucy worked in both process engineering and environmental engineering before pursuing engineering and business leadership roles. She was recently recognised as runner up for the Women In Mining 2017 Exceptional Women in Resources Award and was also awarded a ‘best technical paper’ by TMS, the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society.

What is your current job/role title and function?
I’m the General Manager – Asia Pacific for Bechtel’s Mining & Metals business line.

Why did you choose engineering as a profession?
Like most engineers, I enjoyed science and maths at school, but I also saw that engineering is a truly global career that would deliver the opportunity to travel and meet people from other cultures.

What are you working on now?
I’m building our bulk materials handling capability through formation of a centre of excellence. This team is developing a highly constructible and transportable modular conveying product that is designed by an automated tool, saving both installation and engineering costs.

What is the most challenging project you have ever worked on and why?
My best and most challenging project was the Fjardaal Project – an aluminium smelter in North East Iceland. I was the lead environmental engineer on the project and the innovations on this project saw Bechtel awarded Iceland’s highest environmental award for excellence.

Engineers can save the world. Who would you want on your project team with you?
It would be the team I work with now – in our Bulk Materials Handling Centre of Excellence. They’ve been handpicked for their technical skills, and are practical, motivated and collaborative.

If the whole world was listening, what would you say?
Be kind.

What is your favourite TV show?
I have a 4-year-old son, so very rarely do I get the chance to watch anything other than PAW Patrol.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you like to have with you?
Lots of good wine, plenty of cheese and my boys.

What is the most recent book you read?
I cried my way through A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. It’s the book that was recently made into the film Lion (cried through that, too).

What was the last movie you went to see?
Bechtel held the Australian premiere of Dream Big – a Bechtel sponsored movie about careers in engineering.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpower to be?
To make time go slower – think Quicksilver in X-Men.

What makes you laugh?
My little larrikin boy, Finn.

What is your favourite quote?
‘There are two types of people in this world – the quick and the disappointed.’

What is your ideal holiday destination?
Oman – for the mountain and scuba diving.

What is the greatest piece of technology released in the last decade?
Electric and self-drive cars – transportation in the next decade will look substantially different due to these innovations, which will impact the resources sector.

Why did you decide to become Chartered with Engineers Australia?
I’ve worked in the UK and Canada where Chartered/professional status is an absolute requirement for career development. I believe it’s an important part of responsible practice for my career and also sets the expectations that others in our team will do the same.

Who is your hero?
Despite her politics and stance on women’s rights, Margaret Thatcher was a very inspirational figure for me as a young girl growing up in the UK during that era.

What is your motto?
Wear my values with pride.

How do you achieve work/life balance?
I have a wonderful husband who shares parenting responsibilities, which is really important – and we make the most of our spare time by doing things we enjoy together.

Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and project management companies. Since 1898, the company has completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects across 160 countries on all seven continents. The company and its culture are built on more than a century of leadership and a relentless adherence to their values, the core of which are safety, quality, ethics, and integrity.

Image: Lucy Martin MIEAust CPEng.