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Meet AECOMs Client Account Manager Emma Fitzgerald

Meet AECOM's Client Account Manager Emma Fitzgerald

 November 29, 2022

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Emma Fitzgerald is a chartered civil engineer and project manager, who started her career working for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) as a client on their estate in both the UK and Germany.

She is currently AECOM’s UK&I Defence Sector Lead and Client Account Manager (CAM) for the Ministry of Defence and Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). Here Emma provides insight into her inspiration and work.

Creating sustainable, safe, built environments 

As a daughter of a Royal Engineer, Emma had lived the majority of her life on military establishments around the globe. "The option of joining the Army was not available to me, however I still wanted to be involved in defence and create sustainable, safe, built environments that enhanced the lives of the people who were able to dedicate their lives to the service of our country," shares Emma. 

"I am passionate about ensuring that we do our best for the military community, and my role as AECOM’s Defence Sector Lead in the UK&I, means that this is still central to my vision of how we work with our defence clients."

AECOM Emma Fitzgerald

Emma showing her support when AECOM re-signed The Armed Forces Corporate Covenant

Explaining her job role, Emma says: "I am a qualified Design Quality Indicator (DQI) facilitator and assessor, a methodology which focuses on ensuring client needs and values are captured at the outset of a project. These can be used to baseline expectations and measure success. I think that early shaping discussions with our clients on what they want to achieve and working together to ensure that our potential solutions will meet those needs, is a critical factor in successfully delivering for our clients."

Exciting project work at AECOM

One of Emma's favourite AECOM projects is an 8-year framework working with the DIO as a Delivery Partner for the United States Visiting Forces (USVF) Infrastructure Programme in the UK at Lakenheath, which was awarded last year.

"The reason that this is my favourite project isn’t because I frequently get to be up close to F-35 military aircraft - although that is fun and loud! - but because of the client’s desire to formally incorporate collaborative relationships into the heart of the framework," Emma explains. 

"Getting the opportunity to be at the outset of a long-term partnership and shape the behaviours of the team to deliver the best for the client and their operational mission is really exciting.” 

AECOM offers exciting career opportunities 

AECOM has a large Defence Sector across the globe, including the UK. This means that employees get to work on many projects for its clients.

“Working within Defence AECOM are delivering a whole portfolio of works ranging from offices, through to service personnel housing, to airfield surfaces and even a hospital. The defence sector really does give us the opportunity to work on many types of project."

"We understand our client's governance structures and help them to navigate through project gateways, but each time the actual project can be different," says Emma. "Throughout my career I have delivered an Air Traffic Control Tower for the Royal Navy; developed facilities' management contracts in Germany; carried out DQI on flight simulators, hangars, schools and technical office blocks; overseen major maritime infrastructure projects and collaborated on modular accommodation blocks. As a sector we employ a fully interdisciplinary team of project managers, architects, engineers, cost consultants and project controls specialists; on multiple flagship projects and programmes."

Support for social value initiatives 

One of the great things about AECOM is the support Emma has received for Social Value initiatives. She shares: "As part of a local industry working group, I identified the need within the South West of England for more skilled workers within the Built Environment. We decided to ‘grow our own’ and I was a founding governor for a new secondary school (pictured below) for the Built Environment based near Dartmoor."

AECOM careers

Image of the new secondary school for the Built Environment where Emma was a founding governor

Emma worked closely with the Principal and the project team to ensure that the school was constructed on time, to budget and was fit for purpose.

"I ensured that Structural as well as Mechanical, Electrical and Public Health (MEP) elements were left open to aid with the instruction of students; and even developed part of the curriculum. The building continues to inspire young students as they develop links with the Built Environment Industry and the students and teachers have won awards within both educational and construction environments. Our first students have now left the school and are pursuing careers as Architects and Engineers; which is amazing to see the impact on young lives, and I can’t wait to see them working for AECOM," Emma continues. 

Evolving a career in a non-traditional path 

AECOM Emma Fitzgerald

Emma receiving the award for Best Women Consultant in the 2018 European Women In Construction & Engineering (WICE) Awards

"My career has changed over the last twenty years, and although I started out as a civil engineer, I now focus more on client relationships rather than concrete cube strengths," explains Emma. 

"That doesn’t mean that my experience as an engineer isn’t important, as it has allowed me to hold technical conversations when required to move projects forward. However, each part of my career, either working for a client, or now providing solutions to our clients, has enabled me to build upon the experience I have gained previously and add value; but it really hasn’t been a traditional career ladder."

Celebrating diversity to empower teams to deliver their best work 

Looking at how the industry can encourage more women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, Emma draws on her own positive experience: "Good line management is key, someone who is willing to listen and help guide you; together with amazing mentors who helped me to look outside my area of vision. Flexible contracts, which ensured that I could meet other commitments, but still be trusted to deliver for work as required. A team around me who are dedicated and passionate about delivering the right thing for the taxpayer and end user; and who celebrate success regularly and reward great behaviours."

"As an industry we need to embrace our differences and celebrate our diversity to empower our teams to deliver their best work. The defence sector is no different to the wider Engineering sector. Wider visibility of women in defence is important so that other women see this as a viable and rewarding career path; one where you can enjoy it all!"

Join influential women like Emma at AECOM 

Want to enjoy a STEM career and join a team of experts that have a passion for innovation and delivering cutting edge solutions?

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