Sidsel Stabell Hoppe takes pride in developing people. And solving complex geotechnical challenges. Especially, the Copenhagen Metro is a project close to her heart. Here she tells you why.
Copenhagen Metro is a massive design work. It is connecting the city, and making it easy to get around the capital. Moreover, it was the subject of my master thesis.In short; the metro is a project very close to my heart.
I finalised my thesis more than 10 years ago. When finalised, going into geotechnical engineering seemed like a very natural choice, and my first job after graduation was in Australia in a geotechnical firm.
One day, I received an email from my advisor on the Copenhagen Metro thesis, suggesting a cup of coffee, when I was back in Denmark.
With the Australian tan and sunglasses in my hair, I met him in his office at COWI's headquarters in Denmark some weeks later. To my surprise, the head of the tunnel department was also present. And just to top it off - they offered me a job.
Eight months later, I started as a geotechnical engineer in COWI’s tunnel department. And I was lucky enough to get close to one of my favorite projects again; the Copenhagen Metro.
Go underground with Sidsel Stabell Hoppe.
I love my work. It is as simple as that. Exciting projects, lots of challenges and my job description has changed throughout the years.
Starting as a geotechnical engineer, I travelled a lot and worked on projects in Oman, Korea and many other countries.
Soon I realised that leading people was something that I would like to do, and I got the opportunity to work as a discipline lead for a small team.
That opportunity, combined with increased project experience and professional development helped me become Head of Section, and I now lead a team of 20 people.
I realised that leading people was something that I would like to do, and COWI gave me the opportunity to work as a discipline lead for a small team.
It all comes down to enjoying being around people. Some appreciate a day working from home; I much prefer to come into the office with my colleagues. Human interaction gives me energy and motivation for my daily work.
I take pride in developing people. As Head of Section, one of my most important tasks is to spot talented individuals and guide them in a direction to reach their potential.
A dedicated engineer in my team once told me that I possess the ability to ensure a good work-life balance among employees by helping them prioritise. In the end, this gives my employees the tools to manage their projects well.
… lots of interesting and enjoyable work! Whether they work on major projects anywhere in the world, or something more close to home, I always ensure they are encouraged to innovate and learn through professional development.
My team is currently working on some of the largest tunnel projects worldwide, such as the 19km long Femern Tunnel connecting Denmark to Germany; the Fornebu metro extension in Oslo; and the King Abdul Aziz Road in Mecca, Saudi.
During my time in COWI, I have seen the tunnel department grow from 45 people all based in Denmark, to 450 people based across three continents. I have followed the development of this incredible growth both in terms of new recruits, but also the work we continue to win. This has been a source of immense motivation for me."
Sidsel Stabell Hoppe
Senior Vice President