Kerryn Coker

Principal, Sydney



How long have you been with Arup and what is your current role?

I moved to London in 2004 where I joined the façade team based in Fitzrovia. I spent three years there before returning to Sydney where I joined the façade engineering team here. Next, I moved into a design management role leading teams. I’m now leading Sydney’s 33-strong façade and environmentally sustainable design team.


What interests you most about your role?

As a façade engineer I enjoyed influencing the appearance, performance and occupant experience of buildings. As a design manager I enjoyed learning more about the overall design and delivery of buildings. In my new role I’m enjoying learning new skills like how to run a successful business and how to inspire and enable a team.


What development and support have you been given whilst at Arup?

Heaps! I have often heard that the fundamental philosophy at Arup is to ‘employ good people and let them do what they want to do’, and the opportunities I’ve been offered certainly reflect that.

For example, I was fortunate enough to be accepted onto the Arup University Sustainability Masters course in 2011. So I had an amazing opportunity to attend classes at Cambridge University and be inspired by world-leading speakers, and to strengthen my Arup network.

I gained invaluable project experience and personal development during my three years in London, and Arup then supported my move home to Sydney. There I was given the opportunity to lead the façade team on the market-leading, once in a lifetime development at 1 Bligh St Sydney. The façade has set a new benchmark – it was the first double-skin façade of that scale in Australia. That project significantly developed my technical and management skills, expanded my local client and collaborator network, and lead to numerous project and personal awards.

When I decided I’d like to increase my technical knowledge beyond the façade engineering I’d assumed this would mean leaving Arup? But when I spoke to my local leadership team they responded by creating a new role for as design manager leading multidisciplinary teams.

After 12 months maternity leave, I was thrilled to be asked to lead the façade and ESD team in Sydney. I’ve been supported in doing this part-time to achieve the right work-life balance.

With each opportunity I have felt challenged and excited by the responsibility and knowledge required, but with a network of experienced people around me I have always felt supported.


Describe the Arup culture in three words

Opportunity, generosity and passion.


What do you most value at Arup?

The most valuable thing is the opportunity to work on the best projects with amazing, inspiring and very passionate people. I thrive in the environment when I’m given the freedom to learn and pursue new opportunities and at Arup I’m supported and encouraged to do this. I can’t imagine working anywhere else

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