Phebe Mann, who is Chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers London for 2022-23, achieved an overall Distinction on a Plumbing Level 2 Diploma at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London. She also took a short course in Home Repair and Maintenance for Women at Westminster Kingsway College.
Phebe studied both courses having already established an illustrious engineering and legal career spanning more than three decades and gaining a PhD and four Master’s Degrees.
She is a chartered engineer, chartered surveyor, chartered construction manager and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She was named in the Women in Engineering Society’s Top 50 Women in Engineering 2018.
She has a PhD Collaborative Design, MSc Bridge Engineering, MSc Construction Management, MA (Cantab) Computer Science, LLM Construction Law and is a qualified barrister.
Phebe has worked as a Specialist Judge for the Upper Tribunal and General Regulatory Chamber and has completed engineering projects for Westminster City Council and Cambridge County Council, as well as being a Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, University of Reading, University of East London and Open University.
Phebe decided to enrol on both courses to develop her practical construction skills and increase her awareness of the trades to enable her to better address a national shortage of workers in the UK.
She said: “The students were very enthusiastic in their learning. The lecturers were excellent and devoted to sharing the skills of their professions and we learnt a great deal from the exercises and the feedback they gave us. They also provided high-quality videos of each topic, which we could view repeatedly until we understood the requirements of the course.
“My lecturer for the practical class, John Nosworthy, was very patient and empathetic to his students as he explained the steps we needed to take and health and safety requirements for each of our tasks. He had a genuine understanding of his students and adapted his teaching to meet their individual needs.”
Phebe is passionate about encouraging and inspiring more women to follow in her footsteps and pursue engineering and construction careers.
She said: “Girls tend to do better than boys in GCSE and A Level results including science, mathematics and computing. These are all important skills for engineers and construction. Women excel in skills such as good communication, innovation, creativity and analysis. They should not be intimidated by working in a male-dominated industry.”
According to Engineering UK, there is a shortfall of 173,000 workers in the STEM sector, while the Construction Skills Network says 266,000 new workers are needed by 2026
“If you are passionate about engineering, discover your potential, seek opportunities, equip yourself, develop a positive learning attitude and be determined to be successful,” said Phebe.
“Don’t be discouraged by failures. Every success is built on many failures. Don’t give up if you believe you can do it.”