First female senior partner for Max Fordham

Environmental engineers Max Fordham has appointed its first female senior partner in sustainability expert Tamsin Tweddell. 

Tweddell, who will focus on the performance of buildings in-use, joined the practice in 2000, having studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. Much of her work at the practice has been concerned with ensuring the buildings Max Fordham complete perform as designed. Tweddell has been instrumental in developing the practice’s “soft landings” approach to engineering.

Commenting on her appointment as senior partner, Tweddell said: “It makes me proud to work for a practice where nearly a quarter of the engineers are women. Engineering has for too long been seen as an industry for men, but diversity is essential if we are to find new ways of thinking about the problems we will face in the years to come.”

In her work Tweddell is keen to ensure that Max Fordham’s buildings function to the sustainability brief set by the client or architect and are as comfortable to the occupants as possible. “Our goal is to firmly establish our understanding and delivery of buildings with exemplary performance in-use,” she said. “That means buildings that work for the people who use them; buildings that are comfortable and low energy in practice. Achieving this goal has a number of components and it starts with using feedback from previous projects to continually improve our designs. Then sharing that knowledge and empowering our engineers to be advocates for the people that will use and manage the buildings,” Tweddle said.

Her appointment as a senior partner comes at a time when there is growing awareness of the under-representation of women in the engineering industry. Female students make up just a fifth of those studying physics at A-level. The picture is even worse at university, where just a sixth of those studying engineering or technology subjects are female. In the UK, just 9% of engineering professionals are female, the lowest in Europe.


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