Celia studied Engineering Design and Appropriate Technology (EDAT) at the University of Warwick. Bridging the gap between engineering and industrial design, and with a social conscience, it was a course that reflected her desire to do something both practical and creative that would help people. After a few forays overseas, living and working with an NGO in the Philippines and pursuing a research project in Uganda, she joined BuroHappold’s new sustainability team in Bath.
In her decade with the practice, as well as working on many small and large scale multi-disciplinary projects, she also managed to complete an Engineering Doctorate, build a relationship with WaterAid leading various projects with them, and instigate the ‘Share Our Skills’ initiative. This is an attempt to make the collective skills of BuroHappold available to those in society who are most in need, but who cannot afford the commercial rates. It’s had a great catalytic effect – enabling over 60 staff to get involved in local and international development projects they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, with all the associated benefits for their personal development and wider societal impacts. Celia is now a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, working on a DFID and NERC funded project to understand the impacts of climate change on urban sanitation in East Africa.
Celia built her relationship with the Happold Foundation through the development of ‘Share Our Skills’, aligning the SOS timelines with the Foundation, and by providing support to the Human Development theme, bringing her global experience of development in practice to the table. She joined the foundation formally as a trustee in 2016. Within this role, and working closely with the other Trustees, she hopes to enable the Foundation to better support progress in international human development, nurturing the interest of fellow socially-minded engineers.
Celia is a compulsive baker, mostly to fuel her enthusiasm for cycling, both on and off road. If she’s not on a bike or in the kitchen she can be found attacking her new home in Yorkshire with a sledgehammer and paintbrush.