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Jubb’s Elizabeth Side gives back to the community by supporting Cardiff University’s prospective and current Engineering Students.

Jubb’s Elizabeth Side, based in our Cardiff office, is an Alumni Ambassador for Cardiff University, giving back to the University and community by supporting the University’s prospective and current engineering students.

Jubb’s Alumni Ambassadors are volunteers who work closely with universities to improve alumni services, arrange events and reunions as well as providing important networking opportunities for existing and former students. They offer information, advice and guidance to former, current and prospective students.

Elizabeth Side is currently a Principal Engineer within the Cardiff Structures Team and has worked for Jubb since April 2016. She takes the role of Lead Engineer on a variety of projects within a range of industry sectors including healthcare, education, residential and commercial.

We asked Elizabeth what being an Alumni Ambassador means to her, what it involves and what her plans are for the future.

What is the purpose of an Alumni Ambassador?

The purpose is to engage with potential Cardiff University students on open days and encourage them to get involved with the industry from the early stages of their education careers by getting involved with University events, social events and the IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers).

I feel I provide valuable insight for students to the industry and I also feel I have a responsibility as a female engineer, to be a face that students see to encourage more young women into engineering.

How did you become an Alumni Ambassador?

I am a former Cardiff University student and their Alumni department approached me as a member of the Alumni to get involved. I believe it is part of my role as a qualified engineer to help those thinking of studying engineering at Cardiff or graduating students joining the industry. I love Cardiff as a city and would encourage anyone to study here. I enjoyed my time at Cardiff University and have very fond memories of studying there.

What has the role of an Alumni Ambassador involved so far?

I have attended a number of open days, where potential A-level students (with conditional and unconditional offers from Cardiff University) take a tour of the engineering school, meet other potential students, take part in an engineering task and gain feedback from current and previous university students. I provided insight on my time as a student and my favourite parts, giving information on the course, the university and the city as a whole. I also sit with multiple family groups (as parents attend with students) and answer any queries they may have about the university or city and what they can expect from the industry. I also get a nice free lunch.

What are your plans for the future as an ambassador?

I plan to continue supporting the Alumni department and the School of Engineering where appropriate.  I’d also like to make an effort with my colleagues at Jubb to get more of us into schools and encourage younger school students to be building and creating to develop an early interest in engineering.

We caught up with Dr Alan Kwan, a Professor in Structural Mechanics and member of the BRE Institute of Sustainable Engineering in the School of Engineering, and asked him to share his experiences working alongside Elizabeth and her role as Alumni Ambassador at Cardiff University.

Deputy Head of School of Engineering (Teaching), Alan Kwan comments:

 “Elizabeth was, of course, one of our own graduates, and it is always great to welcome back one of our own.  Elizabeth has slotted right back in and taken on the ambassador role effortlessly and she has been able to very naturally provide applicants and parents a striking view of what a Cardiff engineering graduate can quickly go on to become.  Elizabeth of course now has many years of industrial experience to relate, and hearing her stories and experience very much excites our visitors.  We are very fortunate to have someone so relational close by, who can be a credit not just for the University and Jubb, but for the profession as a whole.”

Deputy of Development & Alumni Relations, Barry Sullivan comments:

Over the past couple of years, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming Elizabeth back to campus at least three times (that I can think of!). She was actually one of the first alumni ambassadors I worked with, and the impact she had on visitors cemented my firm belief that we need to actively engage our alumni to inspire the next generation of engineers. I remember the look on the faces of prospective students and their parents – they genuinely lit up when Elizabeth spoke.
The tangible advice she gave about making the most of the opportunities on offer in the School, beyond the curricular, was very insightful. She championed getting involved with the professional Institutions and demonstrated how her own student and professional career flourished as a result. We are so grateful to Jubb for seeing the value in this sort of activity and hope this story can be continued.”

Rob Harrhy, Jubb Managing Director comments: