WICE 'Best Young Woman Architect' Finalist 2018

Chartered Architect, Claire McAteer is a ‘Best Young Woman Architect’ Finalist in the 2018 WICE Awards which recognise and celebrate the growing success of Women in Construction & Engineering. Claire completed her professional studies and gained accreditation as a qualified Architect at the early age of 25.

Here Claire shares her thoughts on working in the construction industry and being shortlisted for this award.

What are the biggest challenges you face as an architect today?

Keeping up-to-date with changes in the industry. I have been working in the industry since 2011 and with White Ink since 2014 and how we work has completely changed – from previous 2D drafting to co-ordinated 3D modelling with the implementation of BIM, and we are now pushing the boundaries and investing in Virtual Reality in preparation for the next digital revolution. I’ve recently trained in the role of Principal Designer and am active in the development of this service within White Ink. It’s important to be agile and react positively to change.

What positive influence do you believe you have made to the construction industry?

Many architectural students don’t complete the career path of becoming a qualified architect. Encouraging undergraduates and Master students to continue their education and training is something I’m passionate about and hopefully influence through my roles as Part 1 Student Mentor, STEM Ambassador and through presentation to university students.

I have engaged with my former university to provide presentations and talks to undergraduates on the role of Architects in practice and getting the most out of their placement year and maximising their professional skills.

Since 2016 I’ve been a RIBA Part 1 Student Mentor – guiding and helping students to acquire skills and understanding of key aspects of architecture, technical design, sustainability and regulations and encouraging them to contribute to the wider aspects of the company.

As a STEMnet Ambassador (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) I visit local schools to encourage young people, particularly females, considering a career in the construction industry to pursue it, and any younger school pupils to take up STEM subjects to optimise their opportunities to study architecture, engineering or a construction based degree.

What does being a WICE Finalist mean to you?

I was delighted at being nominated for the Best Young Architect category by my colleague Áine Glackin, and being a Finalist, amongst so many talented individuals, is an achievement in itself – which I am very proud of. I recently attended the judging day in London as part of the selection process which was a busy day where I got the opportunity to meet other inspiring women in construction and engineering from across Europe. Winners will be announced at a Gala Ceremony on 24th May at the Royal Lancaster, London – so my fingers are crossed!