Anna Wai
MEng CEng MIStructE

Anna isn’t one of those people who felt destined to become a structural engineer. It wasn’t her childhood ambition, nor the recommendation of a high school career’s advisor. In fact, were it not for the way the architecture department building at the University of Bath caught the sunlight, she may have forged a different path altogether.

‘I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do when I was a kid,’ she laughs. ‘But when I was a sixth former, I attended a careers fair at Bath Uni that helped me make up my mind. They packed us onto a bus to attend the fair and when I stepped off the bus I had to walk past the Architecture Department building. It was shining in the sun and I thought that looks pretty cool. Anna didn’t know it then - she thought she was there to pick up some brochures and some free pens – but the way the morning sun caught the building façade was about to significantly impact her future. ‘Students were pouring out with building materials and models, and they were all looking so happy. They must have been first years!’.

Anna speaks highly of the course at Bath, where the engineering and the architecture departments are closely integrated. She enjoyed studying and collaborating with the architecture students – the kind of interaction that she still enjoys – though she never harboured ambition to join their number. ‘But I really love the collaborative process. Always have. Even at school, I liked group projects,’ she recounts. ‘Great engineering depends on great collaboration, and that is my strength. It’s creative, scientific teamwork.’

It was another ‘sliding doors’ moment that brought Anna to Price & Myers. She was preparing to interview for a different engineering practice in London, when one of her university tutors intervened. They mentioned to her that there was another London-based practice that would foot the bill for her train ticket to London, as long as she attended their Graduate open evening. That practice was Price & Myers. At the event, Anna met some of the team and some of the students that would later become her colleagues. She also had her eyes opened to what structural engineering can be. ‘They showed us students an artwork called ‘Turning the Place Over’ by artist Richard Wilson. It was part of Liverpool’s ‘City of Culture’ programme and featured a building with a 26-tonne ‘disc’ section cut into the façade that rotated on a pivot. I hadn’t even considered that a structural engineer could work on such an exciting thing, and it made an impression on me.’

When she talks about the clients, architects, and other collaborators that she enjoys working with, Anna could easily be talking about herself. ‘I really like working with thoughtful clients. I like people who have a scientific approach – a methodical approach,’ she explains. ‘As engineer’s we give advice and we share our expertise. It’s my job to use what I know to help my clients and my teams through the journey.’ It’s an approach that has paid off for Anna. She boasts a roster of repeat clients, across a broad range of building types and sectors, that trust her to deliver the result they envisage. ‘I like to say that our reputation precedes us is not a business strategy. We are good people, and we press for the best result possible on our projects. We will cut to the chase. As a result, people know us, and they know what we can do.’

After working in the Price & Myers London studio for 10 years, Anna relocated to our Oxford studio and built a new client base in the practice’s second largest location. Made a Partner in 2023, she has now been charged with setting up the practice’s presence in Bristol. ‘It may sound cliché to some, but our strongest asset at Price & Myers is our people – always has been. I’m lucky enough to have opened the Bristol studio with a great team. They are all technically brilliant and very importantly just lovely people to hang out with. I’ve often thought that I’ve been incredibly lucky with the people I’ve had the opportunity work with, and the Bristol team is no exception.’

Anna’s progress towards becoming at Partner at Price & Myers has featured some very good decisions made at just the right times. And had it not been for a piece of sunny architecture, some smiling first-year faces, and a complimentary train ticket to London, she may have found herself in different place altogether. But her story is one of application and commitment – ‘I’m happy-go-lucky but if you give me a job to do, I will get it done. I will see it through’ – and a capacity to bring out the best in herself and those she surrounds herself with. It’s a formula that delivers great projects and happy clients.


020 7631 5128

Featured Projects

Featured News