Video blog: World Engineering Day 2024

4 March 2024
Rhona Marsland, Principal Highways Engineer based at ORR’s Glasgow office, discusses her engineering inspiration and her role holding National Highways to account.

To me, engineering is about improving people's lives through transportation solutions, the moving of people and things, getting people where they need to be efficiently and safely.

My first role at ORR was in the rail engineering team, but transferring to the Highways team means that the strategic road network in England, the ORR and the UK government are able to draw upon my skills and expertise whilst I live and work in Scotland.

Understanding and changing our world

Like most engineers my interest in engineering began when I was little playing with Lego, however, it wasn’t until secondary school when my technology teacher introduced me to civil engineering that it really became an obvious career choice for me.

Initially, I was motivated by my enjoyment of maths and mechanics, but as my studies progressed, I started to understand the application of engineering in understanding and changing our world.

I lead the engineering team that holds National Highways to account for the compliance of its licence and the Road Investment Strategy. In simple terms, it’s about satisfying ourselves that National Highways is managing the infrastructure assets such as structures and earthworks efficiently.

Protecting the interests of road users

In my early career, engineering was about designing and delivering engineering projects which would subsequently improve the lives of people, however, now I am using that experience in a much broader sense with regards to the interests and safety of road users, the environmental and economic impact of the Strategic Road Network and the long-term maintenance and management of highways.

The times when I find my job most fulfilling are when my team’s work results in a change to behaviours, practices and processes of National Highways which will ultimately mean better highways for us all.