T+T Graduate Engineer part of a groundbreaking research team

When Virginie Lacrosse joined Tonkin + Taylor as a graduate engineer five years ago she had no idea she would become part of an internationally honoured ground breaking research team. 

Having graduated from University of Bath with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Virginie joined T+T in the Auckland office as a temporary data entry operator to earn some money so that she could continue her working holiday. It was during the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence and at the height of the engineering skills shortage so she was soon offered a permanent engineering role. 

Although T+T offer a wide range of engineering services, mechanical engineering is not one of them. But as Virginie says, “Engineering is a career choice that opens many doors”.

“I decided to study engineering because I liked maths, sciences, design and geography, but I couldn’t make up my mind on what to focus on – with engineering I can do a bit of all of these things”.

“If you have an engineering degree then you are showing people you are numerate and able to problem solve and understand complex concepts”.

“Although I studied mechanical engineering I didn’t feel confined to that area of expertise, so when T+T offered me a permanent position I jumped at the opportunity”.

Timing has played a key part in how Virginie’s career has progressed. She was offered the opportunity to assist T+T’s liquefaction experts and be involved with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Project. Today her career revolves around all things liquefaction.

Now as a hazard mapping specialist, Virginie helps local and regional councils determine their vulnerability to liquefaction which helps them make more informed planning and development decisions.

“As an example, if we identify an area that has the potential to liquefy following an earthquake then the local authority can determine more resilient foundation and dwelling types for that land”.

Virginie says that the best part of her job is knowing that everything she is doing on a day-to-day basis is ultimately helping build more resilient communities from the lessons learnt in Christchurch.



See a news article on the award Virginie and her team received here

See a recent video of Virginie sharing the Christchurch liquefaction story here