Building Foundations with Eleonora Regni
Today we chat to Eleonora Regni, one of our Senior Structural Engineer. She tells us all about the new Elephant Park Pavilion that is progressing onsite, how she as an engineer can contribute to build a liveable and more sustainable future, and who’s inspired her throughout her career.
How long have you been at Webb Yates Engineers?
I have been working for Webb Yates Engineers for 1 year and a half year.
Where do you come from, and what do you miss about home?
I am from Ferrara, a small city in the north-east of Italy, not far from Bologna. It is a medieval city rich in history that attracts tourists for its beautiful castle and the city walls where I used to run in the evening after work.
What do I miss the most? The sea! I grew up in a village located near the beach, Comacchio, in the Ferrara province. The summer to me was about laying down on the sand under the hot sun with the waves’ noise in the background! I also miss the Italian breakfast with cappuccino and cream cornetto!
What’s the best thing about a career in engineering?
As an engineer my dream is to make a better world and step-by-step I am trying doing it. As a female engineer, I have always found positive and professional work environments, even if in my daily life I often hear: ‘oh you are a structural engineer, really???’
What inspired you to become an engineer?
When I was a child my favourite game was building castles, houses and objects with Lego. I was impressed by the instruction precision that explained to me how to create things. Nowadays I am an engineer that uses calculations and instructions to build real things, and this gives me a deep satisfaction!
Working in engineering, what can you do to contribute to a greener and more sustainable urban future?
As a structural engineer I feel the responsibility to push the clients to embrace sustainable solutions to preserve our future. I try to propose low carbon materials such as timber or stone, that apart from being eco-friendly, create stunning and cosy places to live in with no need for expensive finishes!
Which Webb Yates Engineers project that you’ve worked on are you most proud of and why?
I am very proud to have worked on the Elephant Park Pavilion project!
The pavilion is located within the wider Elephant Park development to offer a series of kiosks and multi-purpose enclosable spaces at ground floor level, with a roof deck above that serves as a general leisure space within the park and viewing platform. The superstructure is an unconventional CLT deck cantilevering on three CLT walled units, stiffened by a steel balustrade at the edges, that works as a truss to limit deflection and vibration. The pavilion is completely integrated in the natural environment of the park, surrounding two trees. The foundation system, ground slab suspended on screw piles, allows to disturb as less as possible the tree roots. I would say that this is a really honest building where every component has a function, and nothing is there just for aesthetic purpose!
What are you doing on your free time to stay sane during lockdown?
During lockdown on my free time I like cooking! I especially experiment cake recipes to have a good breakfast and start the day on the right foot! When the weather is nice, I like walking to get some fresh air and enjoy the stunning views of London!
I look forward to coming back to a normal life to meet friends and travel again.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you and who has inspired you throughout your career?
International Women's Day is to me a day to celebrate women's achievements and to raise awareness of gender equality. Who has inspired me in my career? My mum! She is a police officer that dedicates all herself to her professional career with passion and devotion, alongside being an impeccable mother and the queen of the house! I wish I had her energy!