Podcast: a world of pure imagination.


Innovation for a sustainable built environment.

In this episode, Ellie Griffiths chats to Yewande Akinola – an engineer, consultant and Innovate UK ambassador recently awarded an MBE for services to innovation and industry diversification – whose human-centric built environment journey began with modelling her dream house from her mum’s living room.

Whenever people were at the heart of the conversation, it made me suddenly understand the maths and the physics. For me to enjoy being an engineer, it had to be about the people.

Yewande explains how spending time with Thames Water, as a graduate, triggered an interest in sustainability – a driver that opened doors for much-needed large-scale innovation, and gave engineers licence to come up with new thinking, because they simply had to.

Ensuring that people had clean water when they opened their taps made me feel super powerful. That was the start of me understanding the role that engineering and technology have in shaping our world.

Yewande now helps engineering organisations – who may be worried about how embracing innovation might affect the types of projects they get, or the way they deliver them – to roadmap a viable future. As well as the importance of storytelling in our industry communications, she discusses the crucial need for disruptive thinking and a holistic approach to the integration of ideas, plus the incredible tool that engineering is for infrastructure development.

I feel I’ve been blessed with an incredible career option that allows me to speak a universal language that has tangible, real impact on people’s lives.

Find our latest chat on iTunes by searching ‘Hoare Lea’, or listen below.