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Era Shah

Era is a chartered civil engineer who quickly identifies value engineering opportunities that positively influence the logistics, programme and cost of design whilst producing construction phase plans to reflect recommendations.

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Principal consultant

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Advisory and consultancy

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Value engineering

About Era

Era joined Costain as a graduate back in 2014 and most of her experience has been within complex delivery, specifically rail infrastructure projects working with clients such as Network Rail, Crossrail and HS2. After becoming a chartered civil engineer and completing her role leading a demolition package on the HS2 Enabling Works Contract (EWC), Era transferred to transportation consultancy in August 2020. As a principal consultant, Era identifies value engineering opportunities that positively influence the logistics, programme, and cost of design whilst producing construction phase plans to reflect these recommendations. Most recently, Era has been implementing modern methods of construction to the CARS project, a hugely collaborative and engaging remit involving discussions with people across the business and specialists in the supply chain for innovations that could make the scheme more efficient.

What led Era to her career?

Although Era joined Costain as a graduate, she has been associated with the business long before that. As part of the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship Alumni at school, Era had the opportunity to showcase her design and technology project to the next cohort of scholars and their respective sponsors. Through this Era met a Costain representative and over time she secured work placements, full university sponsorship for her Civil Engineering MEng degree and finally a place on the graduate programme. Taking full advantage of the graduate scheme, Era rotated projects almost every year to widen her skillset and network, finally settling on HS2 where the invaluable experience working with the supply chain, JV team and client supported her success in becoming a chartered Civil Engineer. Since then, she has moved into consultancy to challenge herself and try something new.


On the common misunderstanding of a consultant role

“I don’t think it’s wholly understood what the role of a consultant is in the transportation consultancy sector, especially for those who are used to set roles and responsibilities as engineers in complex delivery. As a consultant, you are the expert on the delivery of a project and are empowered to draw on your own and others site experience to influence and evolve a design early. I work with creative people who suggest the ‘out there,’ ideas which has been extremely interesting to observe and has given me the confidence to be bold with my approach in identifying a new construction sequence.”


Era’s biggest professional achievement and why?

“Being selected as one of the WES Top 50 Women in Engineering (WE50) 2021: Engineering Heroes, an award that recognises my work as an engineer on HS2, our team’s success in introducing an innovation that significantly reduced risk hours and my dedication in promoting gender quality in the industry."


Something people wouldn’t know about Era

“I’m a big fan of the arts! I’ve been to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival three times (and plan to continue going), watched a number of theatre productions over the years and during the pandemic I volunteered as an assistant for a not-for-profit theatre and film school.”


Connect with Era on LinkedIn or alternatively send her an email.

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