Home » Breaking Stereotypes » “I’m cleaning up the Thames for future generations”

Bianca Wheeler (pictured)

Construction Engineer

As a young girl Bianca Wheeler dreamt of being an architect or chef, but once she’d had a taste of a major construction project, her mind was made up.

“I’ve just always been interested in design and the way things are built,” says the 21-year-old.

Following schoolwork experience on Crossrail, Bianca chose subjects to put her on a path into construction.

She started as a Civil Engineering Apprentice on Tideway, four days a week on site, and one attending college.

Bianca is now a Construction Engineer on the ‘super sewer,’ a 25km-long tunnel being constructed beneath the River Thames to help tackle the millions of tonnes of raw sewage that overflow into London’s waterway each year.

The tunnel will intercept these overspills, cleaning up the river for future generations.

Coinciding with Women in Engineering Day, Tideway is highlighting those who have inspired their own inspirational women on this vast project.

Every day is different and there are always new challenges to overcome.

Bianca chose Fiona Keenaghan who was one of the two first apprentices to join the Tideway project, which has since awarded over 100 apprenticeships.

Fiona became a mentor from day one in 2016 when the women were paired together as buddies.

“I admired Fiona’s confidence both on-site and in the office, and aspired to one day be like that,” commented Bianca.

“Fiona has always been a great role model and I look forward to our paths crossing again.”

For now, Bianca is revelling in her role. “Every day is different and there are always new challenges to overcome,” she adds.

Discover more about the inspirational women building the Super Sewer.  Follow Tideway on social media: @TidewayLondon and discover our educational resources at www.tideway.london/womeninconstruction.Young people can chat directly with women working on the project at I’m a Scientist’s Summer Zone on June 23. 

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