Feb 21,2019

Thriving in Zambia

Sara Moslemi Zadeh from BuroHappold Engineering has been out in Zambia volunteering as Build It Assistant Project Manager at the Centre for Excellence. We caught up with Sara to see how she’s been getting on.

“Four months might not seem long but it is long enough to notice a change in myself!

I stayed in Zambia over Christmas period, and carried on working on the Blockwork Training Plaza.

This training area will provide valuable practice space for trainees to perfect their bricklaying skills and techniques, ready for their trades test and for their work experience placements.

Although I was working over Christmas while many people were on holiday, it was very fulfilling. I was on site early in the morning to open the gates and the office, and to provide the tools and material from the storage room to the workers.

My days was fully occupied with supervising construction of the training plaza and receiving new material delivered on site, as well as welcoming people who were interested in signing up to the next training courses. It was quite challenging and it was great to see everyone back after the holidays, everyone plays such a key role in helping the organisation run smoothly!

I have always enjoyed my work as an engineer, but the satisfaction from working at BII, specifically on training area with the young workers who are all BII graduates, is something different. Knowing that about a year ago they didn’t have these skills and sadly had few opportunities, and to see they them now, with new skills and showing enthusiasm and accuracy at work it is a priceless experience.

As well as the training area, one of my main tasks has been designing a surface water drainage strategy for the Centre for Excellence. I have found it very fulfilling to design something that will soon be built and where I can directly see the impact.

I have used the concept and principal of Sustainable Drainage System (SUDS) into my design with natural and green drainage system, that will also improve the visual appearance of the site as well as the natural habitat.

Working with local landscape architects, we have a beautiful landscaping proposal for the Centre that works together with my drainage design. Time Is passing by so quickly and I hope before the end of my placement I can progress with as much work as possible. I cannot wait to see the transformation of the site while I’m here!”