The more complex the project, the better, if you ask Julija, a Senior Structural Engineer here at Blueprint. Originally from Belarus, Julija has moved her way around the globe, from Poland (where she gained her Master's degree) to England, then on to Ireland where she became a Chartered Engineer (and picked up an intriguing hybrid accent!).
Seven years ago, she made the move to New Zealand and has been a part of the Blueprint team for around four and a half years. However, it was while she was working in Ireland that she first learnt about Blueprint – noticing our strong reputation in the industry supported with outstanding engineering talent and projects that showcased our innovation.
Of course, Julija caught our attention too, as someone who had some interesting skills already under her belt. Working in small companies but on significant and challenging projects where she was responsible for both design and documentation as well as construction review, we knew that Julija’s strong attention to detail, her understanding of how structures are built, and dedicated approach to innovative and creative problem solving would fit perfectly with our team.
Digging into details
Whether she’s working on a residential building or large commercial projects, she says it’s the challenges that arise and give the opportunity to really dig into the details that she enjoys. “I like putting all the pieces together in my mind to come up with creative ideas and innovative solution for the client – solutions that add real value. I really pride myself on the quality of my design and documentation. When I see it all come together in the final result - that’s what I love”, Julija says.
“In New Zealand, seismic design is a key design consideration, and we make sure our designs comply with the building code. Developing a bracing solution that accommodates that functional requirements of the buildings can be a challenge, but that makes my work so interesting.”
There’s nothing repetitive about the work that we do here at Blueprint, and Julija says that the ever-changing challenges that come up when working in construction keep things exciting.
“In construction, things don’t always go to plan. Something unexpected will happen, and decisions have to be made quickly or you have to make a call at the right moment in order to solve a problem. I am able to make the right call”
A collaborative approach to problem-solving
Julija thinks it’s Blueprint’s unique team culture and collaborative approach that makes it easy for us to respond so well to these unexpected challenges that arise. She says that it’s all about trust, communication and collaboration.
“From my experience, Blueprint is unique as an engineering company because we truly do work as a team - it’s easy to say you’re a team, but hard to actually demonstrate this. Here, we really do work together, we support each other, and you’ll never feel like you have to tackle something on your own. If someone needs your help or wants a second opinion, we’ll work together and figure out the best solution. When you work in an environment like this, you feel valued, that your voice is heard and respected - and it means that we all genuinely care about others and the outcome of all projects.”
“In saying that, we also really trust each other, which means we also have the freedom to take an independent approach. This allows us to be really agile and flexible. So when those challenges do come up, the client knows they can call us and we can react straight away. This confidence that management has in us encourages us to really take ownership of projects.”
Innovation in engineering
Julija loves the varied projects that come through Blueprint’s door, and the opportunities they bring to think differently. “As engineers, we are innovative by nature. But this isn’t just about using new products or technology, it’s about finding solutions to complex problems by being creative. It’s about listening to the needs of the market and being open to different solutions in order to make designs feasible - without over-complicating things. We can design anything, but our challenge is to make it realistic and cost-effective for the client.”
It’s not easy to get this balance right in any fast-paced professional environment, but Julija says that at Blueprint you feel motivated to give projects your best, without feeling pressure. “The company leaders have an approach that really makes you feel a valued part of the team. Because of this, you really want to work to the best of your ability, support your team and do the best for our clients. It motivates everyone. It’s a team I’m really proud to be a part of.”
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