In the coming decade, the United States will have to add 250 000 civil engineers to its workforce in addition to replacing those who will retire. However, only 12.2% of the current American civil engineers are female. These statistics indicate the need to encourage young people, especially from underrepresented groups in civil engineering, to pursue engineering opportunities in their education. As a PhD student in the 90’s I met the structural designer Jane Wernick at the IASS conference in Denmark. She offered a positive influence on my educational and career plans. A few years later I ended up working with her at her own engineering consulting office Jane Wernick Associates (London, UK). Jane believes that structural engineers can have a great impact on the built environment and hence the quality of life of people, yet they have to remember that they have a huge responsibility to the planet and its sustainability. She states that her biggest achievements are “.. my involvement in the Millenium Wheel and starting my own practice”.