Elena Elsaesser CEng

Elena Elsaesser CEng MIMechE is MEP Package Manager at Crossrail’s Bond Street Station. After graduating from Aachen University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, she worked in the automotive sector in Germany before moving to the UK.

Elena ElsaesserWhat led you to pursue a career in engineering?

I’ve always enjoyed problem solving. To me, engineering is like a jigsaw puzzle; figuring out how to get from A to B. I also enjoyed science subjects in school and wanted to learn a widely applicable and versatile subject. Mechanical Engineering offers it all. One can  work in different sectors/industries all over the world, in my case from automotive through to rail and in different countries.


What have been the highlights of  working on Crossrail?

It’s been fantastic to work on the biggest engineering project of its kind in Europe. When I left Germany, I wanted to work on a larger engineering project and manage packages with a bigger budget than what I have been responsible for before, and I certainly got it; be careful what you wish for!

I became an IMechE member because of the recognition that comes with it. In Germany, the title ‘engineer’ is protected, but that’s not so in the UK. Being a Chartered Engineer gives you more credibility, and proves that you’re capable of much more than fixing a boiler.

Elena Elsaesser on site

How has being a member of the Institution helped you in your career and personally?

The Institution has been able to answer a lot of my questions when it comes to career advice, and I’ve also attended a number of conferences and seminars. The Institution has provided me with a lot of support over the last two and a half years.

Where do you want your career to take you?

I really enjoy project management. The communication and interface challenges which supplement the engineering solutions yet to be found help me expand my skills, develop my character and grow as a professional.

What brought you to Crossrail?

Crossrail has somehow found me. When I moved to the UK, I was hired by Bechtel, where I have been given the opportunity of a 6 week placement on Crossrail. After my Chartership, I have been seconded into the MEP Package Manager role for Crossrail Bond Street Station.

What is the greatest challenge facing engineering?

Engineers nowadays are expected to be specialists and generalists at the same time. With ever pressing budget constraints and a shortage of well trained professionals, engineers need to know many subjects and all of them in great detail. It is a stretch on anyone’s knowledge capacities.

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