Building foundations: Off-piste with Lynsey Laycock

Lynsey web2

Lynsey Laycock, Associate Director, leads our Bristol office. Having just celebrated the office’s first birthday, Lynsey talks to us about her ambitions for the future, how she landed into a career in engineering, and what she might be doing if she hadn’t!


Which Webb Yates Engineers project are you most proud of and why?

It’s probably the Mann Island project as it’s in my hometown of Liverpool. Locally, it was a controversial project - the three large black granite clad buildings are right on the waterfront and stand out a little, to say the least. On the plus side our project gets pride of place in lots of tourist’s photos, and my grandad is really proud to tell people that I was the structural engineer.


Why did you choose engineering?

I’m not sure I consciously chose engineering but I’m very glad I got here by luck! To be honest I had no idea what engineering really involved until after I had started studying it at university. Well done to the careers advisor in my school for spotting it was a good choice for me. I think it offers a great balance between technical problem solving and creative skills, and it is hugely rewarding when ideas become reality for all to see.


What would you be doing if you weren’t an engineer?

My dream would have been to be a professional tennis player or a pro-snowboarder – which means I would probably be retiring about now. Maybe I’d have gone back to university afterwards to study engineering!


Which product or building has most inspired you and why?

It’s a bit of a cliché but probably Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. When I first joined Webb Yates Engineers as a fresh young graduate Steve gave me a hard time for not having an appreciation of great architecture. This is one of the projects he pointed me towards.


What is the most difficult engineering challenge you’ve overcome at Webb Yates Engineers?

I find the biggest challenge is to do the appropriate amount of work for each project. It’s easy to get sucked into endless analysis and calculations but sometimes you can just keep it simple and end up with the best solution.


What are your ambitions for the future?

I’d like to see the Bristol office grow and establish itself in the South West market. We have such a great opportunity to stand out and make a name for ourselves and I’m so excited to see what the future holds.


What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d tell myself to be more outgoing and push myself in work -  to do stuff even if it’s a bit outside my comfort zone. I’ve done this more as I’ve got older, but I still struggle sometimes.


What is your favourite book/album/film/place?

My favourite book is Swallows and Amazons; album is The Killers -  Hot Fuss; movie is The Usual Suspects; and place is the Alps.