Engineering a career path for others is Tracy's aim as she returns home

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 13 Jul 2018

Chartered civil engineer Tracy Westerby has returned to her roots, and is asking the community to come join her.

Fourteen years after a summer’s work experience with specialist plant provider Select Group in Waltham, she is back where she first delivered her CV, having been taken on by parent company Laing O’Rourke after completing her university studies.

Now she has switched from engineering and project management to become product leader, heading up the depot which focuses on piling and concrete pouring for huge infrastructure developments nationwide.

Having grown up just yards away from the airfield site, in Holton-le-Clay, and studied at nearby Toll Bar, then Franklin, she is keen to raise the awareness of the sprawling facility, as a mini-recruitment drive gets underway, with four vacancies identified. The gates will be thrown open on Saturday, July 21, for the community to see what goes on, with live demonstrations and fun activities, as well as the chance to meet fitters, welders and crane operators.

Miss Westerby said: “Once I started my civil engineering studies I realised what the piling rigs were. I thought it would be great to do work experience there, and I ended up working for the summer between my third and fourth year, and was asked about my plans post-university.”

Tracy Westerby, Select Plant Hire's specialist plant product leader, with one of the cement mixers co-ordinated from the Waltham site.

She completed a masters in civil engineering at Durham, and joined Laing O’Rourke as she graduated, with a first job at Heathrow Terminal Five. She spent a total of 12 years with the company, moving from London to Sellafield and then Newark for power projects, before five years in Manchester on Metrolink and then two years on HS2 tenders in Birmingham.

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In that time she also became a chartered civil engineer “a huge personal achievement” and now mentors others aspiring to follow in her occasional steel-toe cap boot steps.

“It has been really interesting going from engineering to project management and then plant hire, Miss Westerby said. “An advantage for me now is understanding the project and what the customer wants. Being able to stay within the company, with Select a subsidiary, and come home at this stage of my career is fantastic. It is a great company and we are all one team at the end of the day.”

Laing O’Rourke is the principal customer for the Cheapside site, through third parties are also catered for.

“I want to raise the profile of the depot. There are a lot of people here, a lot of talented people, but what I have realised is people just don’t know we are here,” she said.

Tracy Westerby, Select Plant Hire's specialist plant product leader, with Mark Tinker, left, plantfitter supervisor, and Malcolm Critten, plant fitter, and a BG30 rig rotary table, which drives the piling equipment, as it is serviced.

It was acquired from Expanding Piling, a company that can be traced back more than 100 years, in 2004 having helped deliver the likes of Courtaulds and Tioxide on the Humber bank, as well as countless contracts nationwide.

“I want to raise the profile of specialist plant in the business. We support the work across the UK in this business, the team do some fantastic work,” Miss Westerby added.

An example is the three piling rigs dispatched to work on the Google HQ close to King’s Cross.

“It is amazing to see our rigs on such a flagship project,” she added, with Manchester Airport, and the city’s Oxygen Towers also on the jobs sheet.

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Turning her attention to the upcoming event, she said: “It is looking at aiding recruitment here, with four vacancies, but also recruitment in the wider business, with apprenticeship schemes. It is a great opportunity to see the roles available. It is also great for the team, to show family, friends and have some fun.”

Representatives from transport joint venture with Eddie Stobart, Explore Transport, and BuildForce, the construction link organisation for ex-forces, will be present.

It takes place from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, July 21.

You can attend on the day or register your interest in advance direct with the depot on 01777 358628, or email

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