Michelle McDowell

Non-Executive Director

I have worked as a structural engineer for 38 years. During this time, I have designed many award-winning schools, hospitals, laboratories and workplaces including AELTCC No. 1 Court, the Royal Albert Hall redevelopment and until recently, I led the 250-strong design team for the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster. I have a real passion for multi-disciplinary design, based on the conviction that architects and engineers thinking together from the start of a project create better, more sustainable buildings. 

I made the transition to a non executive career in 2022 so I could contribute more broadly to the construction sector.

I believe in championing engineering as a career for all and have mentored many people throughout my career. I am also a member of the Royal Academy of Engineers Diversity and Inclusion Forum.

In 2010, I received an MBE for services to the construction industry and I was awarded Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year in 2011. I am proud to have been the first woman to chair the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) in its 100 year history and am a past Vice-President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. I have previously been named the ACEs Engineering Ambassador of the Year and received two Lifetime Achievement Awards, one from Women in Construction and in 2020, one from the European Women in Construction and Engineering.
I regularly judge awards for the Institution of Structural Engineers, British Construction Industry and Veuve Clicquot.

Something that means something to you:

Winning the award was such a surprise. It gave me a fantastic platform to promote the value and contribution of engineering to a wide audience and importantly provided me with a network of successful past winners. I meet regularly with them to share experiences, talk business and get inspiration. Having a Veuve Clicquot vine in Reims named after me was an added bonus!

Michelle McDowell