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Written 20th June 2024

5 minutes with Emily Exford

Emily Exford (right) and Laura Batty (left) before setting off on pedElle 2024

Emily Exford is a Structural Engineer at Heyne Tillett Steel working within one of the Structural Engineering teams in London. With over 4 years’ experience in Structural Engineering and a total of 7 years in the construction industry, Emily joined HTS in 2022. We sat down with Emily to discuss her path into engineering, her work at HTS and her recent venture to Poland on Club Peleton's pedElle, cycling over 450km from Krakow to Sienna. 

How did you get into Engineering?

I have a lot of family in the construction industry and growing up I have always loved construction and DIY, from helping on extensions in my family home, to my first job as a Site Engineer. I chose to study Civil Engineering at university as it combined problem solving, maths and design. I like the logic in engineering, most problems have a right or a wrong answer, although some problems have many right and wrong answers, which makes finding a solution even more rewarding.  

How was your first pedElle 2024?

pedElle was a great experience. I was slightly apprehensive beforehand as to what to expect before the ride. Mostly in terms of fitness levels, pace and how the group would work over the 3 days. From the moment we set off, I felt at ease. The group was lovely, ranging in age and fitness, seniority in their fields, first timers to veterans.  There were women from across the industry: architects, planners and engineer and consultants. Everyone was very supportive and encouraging throughout.

It was a great chance to meet other women across the industry in different roles and disciplines.

Team shot pedElle 2024 © Club Peleton

Any advice for others looking to take part in pedElle 2025?

Whether you are a novice cyclist or someone more experienced, it is genuinely for everyone. The hardest part is signing up, but the training and the team are so encouraging. It has made me want to be involved with more informal networking events and the push I needed to speak to more people in the industry and build my personal network up more.

What’s on the horizon for you this year, any project milestones you’re looking forward to?

I am currently working on a youth centre in Brighton, which is progressing quite rapidly. Demolition has started on site, and I have been working on it since Stage 2. It has gone through an extensive design process where we are now extending the building instead of demolishing. We are retaining 50% of the existing building and adding a steel frame extension with a composite slab construction.

I am also currently working on Mouslecoomb Place, student accommodation for The University of Brighton, where I studied engineering. Currently at Stage 4, we are working on the detailed design within my team. I am excited to see the project progress and see the buildings come to life.

Revit view of the steel extension at Brighton Youth Centre

Revit view of Mouslecoomb Place