A BRADFORD-based woman says she wants to be a role model to the next generation of civil engineers after winning a national award.

Alisa Ahmad, a former pupil of Dixons Trinity Academy, won The Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport Apprentice of the Year award. She claimed the prize in recognition for her work in Leeds’ brand new Stourton Park and Ride scheme.

After completing her apprenticeship, Alisa now works for BAM as an assistant engineer delivering the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

She is in the third year of her five-year-long degree apprenticeship - with a guaranteed job waiting for her at the end.

The 22-year-old has been part of the £29m Stourton Park & Ride scheme, the estimated £4m extension of the Temple Green Park & Ride as well as the estimated £6m Elland Road Park & Ride. 

Alisa says she enjoys learning her trade on-site, which she manages to juggle with her academic work.

The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme protects a 14km stretch from Leeds Train Station to Apperley Bridge from floods along the River Aire and Alisa has worked on the project since August.

A keen advocate of women working in construction, Alisa has also been nominated and highly commended in other awards. 

She is among the 16.5 per cent of women working in the UK’s engineering industry.

Alisa says she enjoys going to schools in the Bradford district and Leeds to promote civil engineering to children who may wish to follow in her footsteps in their own careers.

She said: “I feel honoured to have won this award.

“I have been shortlisted for awards before but have never won one. I’m really, really proud.

“We’re getting there. More females are joining as civil engineers, but there is a long way to go. It’s nice for me to be a role model in the industry."

Alisa added: “I’m balancing my degree with working on-site. I’m getting the experience on-site that I won’t get in a lecture room. It’s boosting my confidence and it’s really valuable.

“I work in schools to promote civil engineering to school children and then also to women and people of colour. I have done it in schools in Bradford and Leeds. I wear the hijab to help break down barriers.

“I’m working on the flood alleviation scheme in Apperley Bridge. It’s nice to do something in Bradford where I grew up.”

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