Laura Hannigan
MEng Structural Engineering with Architecture, University College Dublin
MSt Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment, University of Cambridge
Laura’s inclination to a very integrated design approach began even with her initial studies. The first including architectural theory, and the second focusing on interdisciplinary design. In the latter, she explored the use of structural bamboo and using computational software to unearth historic methods of analysing structure intuitively using graphic statics. The interest in research is borne from a keen interest in always unearthing a new technical challenge to question and solve, and she is always looking for the next.
Her eye for technical detail comes to the fore in projects which particularly call for craft and an integrated solution such as Slough Hall Barn in Suffolk. Here, two bespoke structures sit within the fabric of the Grade II listed structure. With plenty of exposed structure, there’s little room to hide, and a cantilevering steel stressed skin forms the dramatic curved deck. What underpins these projects ultimately is the collaboration across the team as a whole, something which Laura is keen to foster in knowledge that the best solutions come from an integrated team working towards a common goal.
Laura teaches on the MEng Engineering and Architectural Design course as a Senior Teaching Fellow in Structural Design practice at the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Civil Engineering Department of University College London. Students on the course are taught to be architects, structural and environmental engineers, reminiscent of the once fabled master builder.
As a co-founder of Scale Rule, Laura is keen to promote the structural engineering profession to those who may not have encountered it otherwise. Having only encountered the profession herself at 16, she is acutely aware of the need for diverse opinions, ways of thinking and working, within the profession in order to reach the best solution to any given problem; day-to-day and to ensure the future of the profession and built environment industry as a whole.
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