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Published: 21st NOVEMBER 2023

Healthier Places team in Wales grows with exciting new starters

Sustrans Cymru has grown its built environment team, Healthier Places, with the exciting appointment of three new starters. With these appointments, the design and engineering team is now made up mostly of women, subverting gender norms for the industry.

An image of three of Sustrans Cymru's newest starters.

Sustrans Cymru’s new starters bring knowledge and enthusiasm to a team that flies in the face of industry norms. Credit: Paloma Prasad; Simheca Ilango; Adithya Menon\Sustrans.

Sustrans is excited to announce new appointments for its Healthier Places team in Wales.

The appointment of Paloma Prasad, Simheca Ilango, and Adithya Menon to the team signifies an exciting new period for a design and engineering team that is mostly made up of women.

The trio are graduates in urban design and engineering, and bring knowledge and skills that will enhance Sustrans’ ability to create happier and healthier places to live in Wales.


An opportunity to fulfil career ambitions that align with personal values

“Working at Sustrans allows me to actively contribute to creating sustainable and healthier communities, which align with my career goals,” said Adithya, one of Sustrans’ newest Graduate Engineers, and Sustrans Cymru’s first female engineer.

“My aim is to apply my skills to advance sustainable transport initiatives that benefits both the environment and quality of life for people.”

The new recruits bring knowledge of planning, inclusion and sustainability which will allow the team to develop its placemaking offer.

“The intergenerational aspect of community has always fascinated me, and I’m thrilled to be a part of Sustrans where I can advocate for inclusive, safe, and accessible journeys for people of all backgrounds and abilities,” Simheca, Graduate Urban Designer, explained.

With new ideas, perspectives and interests, their contribution will enhance the support that Sustrans can offer to authorities and partners across Wales.

Sustrans Cymru's design and engineering team sat together for a photo, smiling at the camera.

The design and engineering team in full, aiming to make our neighbourhoods and communities happier and healthier places for everyone. Credit: Christine Boston\Sustrans.

Exciting new opportunities to develop professionally and personally

“After moving cities for the role and settling into work, it finally feels like I’m where I need to be,” said Paloma, also a Graduate Urban Designer in the Healthier Places team.

“Being a part of a movement that fully supports my ambitions of active travel and gender mainstreaming in design, being academically inclined post-university, and working with children and young people keeps me grounded and grateful,” she continued.

Speaking about the appointments, Patrick Williams, Head of Healthier Places, said:

“Since establishing a design and engineering team in Wales in 2021, we’ve been able to provide increased support for local authorities to fulfil their goals.

“Some of the work we’ve delivered includes school streets, active travel master-planning, and greenway development.

“It’s a sign of our achievements that we've been able to make these appointments, which will allow us to increase our community engagement and develop designs that are inclusive for all.”


Developing an offering through new perspectives and lived experiences

The new recruits join at an exciting time for Sustrans Cymru as it continues to build capacity in its design and engineering team.

After a period of growth, it’s exciting to be able to take on new opportunities to develop towns and cities, bringing communities to life by making it easier for everyone to walk, wheel, and cycle.

Christine Boston, Director of Sustrans Cymru, added:

“It’s amazing to be growing the team and bringing in new approaches and ideas.

“Support for active travel in Wales has increased in recent years, and I’m excited about the contribution the team is making, and the positive environment we’re creating for people and communities.

“Over the last few years, we’ve transformed our offer in Wales and our latest appointments will allow us to continue delivering more support to transform the way we travel for everyday journeys.”

Speaking on why Sustrans can appeal to potential employees, Patrick Williams said:

“Active travel provides an exciting and rewarding path for graduates setting out on their career journeys.

“The legacy of the places and transport networks that we’re designing and building today will be to serve our future generations.

“We believe the contribution of today’s graduates will play an important part in making sure that what is designed today truly meets the needs of tomorrow.”


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Read more about our work in Wales.

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