As part of our celebrations around International Women in Engineering Day, Eunice Silva explains what her role involves and why she was inspired to become a coastal engineer.
I was born and raised near the beach, and the immensity and power of the ocean has always fascinated me. Being a coastal engineer has allowed me to understand the complex nature of coastal areas, and how we can make the most of them in a sustainable way.
At university I studied to be a civil engineer and later did a specialisation in coastal engineering and port development. In my role at HR Wallingford, I test and improve the design of coastal structures. Before these large and expensive structures are built at full size, we test them at small scale to understand how they will behave when faced with storms, floods and even tsunamis. I get to build models of the structures, either in a large basin or on a long channel, both equipped to generate waves. I have a lot of fun while investigating the mathematical and physical phenomena involved.
Thinking of #MenAsAllies, I have always been supported and inspired by my father, who is also a civil engineer. He would spend his evenings doing homework with me and patiently answer all my questions. He has undoubtedly empowered my curiosity for engineering.
If you are curious about how science and maths can be used to solve real world problems, I would encourage you to pursue a career in engineering or science too. As with any job, if you enjoy what you do and put the work in, you can succeed.”