Ayotunde Sokale saves us from floods by implementing water navigation systems

Ayotunde Sokale · Civil Engineer · Environment Agency

“My passion for engineering began during my formative years where I lived in Nigeria. I witnessed the power of engineering to transform communities from poverty and create a safe community, provide clean water and unite people . On my route to school over time, I saw an engineering infrastructure project improving roads, providing clean water and eventually transforming the area and transforming lives. This was my moment when I realized this is want to do. I want to make a difference and help the world through what I knew would one day engineering would be my tool. There my love for engineering, designing and building a better life started.”

“From that turning point at 9 years old in Nigeria, I have driven myself to get to the point I am now as a recent graduate from Plymouth with a Master in Civil and Coastal engineering and working as a graduate civil engineer at the Environment Agency. A civil and coastal engineer. Specifically, I reduce flood risk to the public by strategically planning and implementation of water navigation systems.”

“As an engineer, I see building and technology as more than just bricks and mortar but people, community and how to create change. I have created a thriving engineering society at my university where engineering students could network and create placement and graduate job opportunities. Also, I created a network of engineering students to go into school and inspire and educate children from primary school ages upwards about the possibility of a career in engineering. I am proud of this because it’s important to create a legacy and encourage the new generation to explore engineering as feasible careers. A civil engineering career which for me have ranged from designing coastal protection, improving port efficiencies through innovative layout, designing scour protection, managing a construction site and now managing flood alleviation schemes.”

“My greatest challenges come from my personal struggles. After being diagnosed with Dyslexia in my last year of my studies. I had struggles for the majority of my education to learn effectively and finally finding the source made me understand myself better but also made me understand the reason for my difficulties. It taught me that anything is possible with hard work and focus. It also showed that a great desire for a goal can overcome the greatest of challenges. This is what I use to motivate young people I work with, I sell them on passion and have the ability to provide long lasting motivation to get them through the difficulties they might face in making their dreams a reality. I believe engineering in all forms is about problem solving and without understanding of the tool in your engineering tool belt you will be fazed by new situation and problems. Therefore, real understanding means the engineering can best identify problems and solve them effectively.”