People News

Our people: Eleanor Gray


Engineering, organisation, and origami.

As a university student, Eleanor wanted to be a rollercoaster designer, but an interesting energy-use project at the Manchester University Business School awoke her interest in building services. In 2007, she joined our firm on a six-month placement and is now a Senior Associate in our Manchester office.

I came to work at Hoare Lea because…

of the people and the training scheme. I permanently joined the firm as a Graduate Engineer (after a three-month jaunt around Europe following my Masters) and, during the last decade I’ve worked across a huge range of sectors, from schools and universities, to hospitals, shopping centres, hotels, and airports. It’s not only helped me become a well-rounded engineer, but has kept life interesting!

I’ve also taken on other roles in the office…

such as BREEAM Assessor, STEM Ambassador, BIM Champion and QM Representative (and subsequently IMS Supervisor). This has probably stemmed from my obsession with order and organisation!

I’m now a Senior Associate, leading teams of engineers delivering a number of projects. In 2015, the lure of country living got too much and I moved from the bright lights of Warrington to the beautiful countryside of Derbyshire. I now split my time between the Manchester office and the newly coined ‘Farm Office’, where the staff count is one engineer and two bunnies.

My favourite projects are the ones that have been the most challenging! I truly believe “it would be boring if it was easy!

I particularly loved working on…

the J.B. Firth Building at the University of Central Lancashire during my early years with the firm. It was a new facility providing analytical laboratories for the school of Forensic and Investigative Sciences. Designing spaces where the brief is “in here, we set things on fire” was exciting, different and interesting – we were really proud of the design we delivered.

What has always driven me is…

the desire to deliver truly exceptional buildings that meet the needs of our clients. There is nothing like the satisfaction of completing a successful project, and feeling like you have made a difference to the lives of people in a community.

I am always looking for an opportunity to organise…

anything I can! Whether it’s a wedding, holidays for 20 people, or house renovations. I have a spreadsheet for everything. I also apply my super-keen organisational streak to my work, and my love for logic and order has never dwindled.

However, my creative side hasn’t been dampened either… I love to make clothes (especially for my tiny nieces and nephews) and I’m an origami addict – it’s essentially engineering with fabric and paper!