Abbie is featured in our ‘Humans of LJMU’ series in collaboration with the ‘Humans of Liverpool’ social media account, sharing the stories of the people who make our city, communities and university the vibrant, inclusive place it is in celebration of our bicentenary year.
In her interview she reflects on nine years of study at LJMU, after a last-minute change of course from pharmacy to civil engineering, which launched her into a successful career in construction.
“I actually applied to do pharmacy originally but just before I started, I had an epiphany that I really didn’t want to do it for the rest of my life. I asked my friend what she was doing, she said civil, so I googled it and thought that sounds alright, I’ll do that. It’s worked out pretty well.”
– Abbie Romano
Abbie’s ‘Humans of LJMU’ interview
“I spent nine years at LJMU. I studied my master’s in civil engineering and then got a scholarship for a PhD, focusing on construction. After graduating, I then worked as a post doc for a year. I actually applied to do pharmacy originally but just before I started, I had an epiphany that I really didn’t want to do it for the rest of my life. I asked my friend what she was doing, she said civil, so I googled it and thought that sounds alright, I’ll do that. It’s worked out pretty well.
“I now work for the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in construction. I wanted to go into industry but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to jump in, I wanted the best of both worlds and the MTC had a vacancy and the stars aligned. They link academia with industry, so I can still do research whilst working with other companies. I take a lead in the technical delivery of the Construction Innovation Hub. I take a lead in the technical delivery of projects that de-risk new solutions and ways of delivering hospitals and schools of the future. I have to pinch myself sometimes. It’s such an amazing opportunity and not something I thought I would be doing.
“Now that I’m in a leadership role, I think working in the manufacturing industry is about empowering others but also being your own person. You can be loud, quiet or quirky. You don’t have to fit in, there’s room for you to be yourself. I look at my grandparents and I think, they don’t care what anyone thinks about them and I love that. Sometimes people can bend to you. Most of the time I’m very reasonable and accommodating but I wanna be a bit more like my Nan. She was the life and soul of the party, she brightened up the room and laughed the loudest and I hope that I can be that for other people. To put an arm around others and be all in with everything I do.”