International Women in Engineering Day: Maribel Adia-Lim



Today we meet Maribel Adia-Lim – Principal Public Health Engineer from ARCADIS Design & Consulting (formerly Hyder Consulting). She manages to balance a successful career with a busy home life and still find time for hobbies and charity work!

Engineering Speciality:

Public Health



What got you interested in engineering?

Since high school I always wanted to become in engineer.

Where did you study:

I completed my first BS in Civil Engineering at Adamson University (Philippines) in 1989 and my second BS in Sanitary Engineering at National University (Philippines) in 1997.

Any other personal details you feel would be of interest to readers:

Being an engineering professional and a mother of two boys is a very tough job – I always need to manage my time to become a good mother and a good leader in our team.

My hobbies are cooking and gardening. I enjoy cooking so much because I feel happy whenever I am successfully creating different masterpiece recipes/dishes for my family. I am also fond of sharing my dishes with my office mates so that they can comment on my dish and make some improvements if there are any negative remarks.

Gardening, on the other hand, makes me feel cheerful  because it relaxes my mind whenever I see my plants everyday. Most of the time, I give some of plants to my office mates and I encourage them to take good care of them. I keep on telling them that plants can relax minds whenever stress is around.

Whilst I’m based in the Philippines, I can actually be involved with projects just about anywhere. To quote from our ARCADIS website: “[We] work collaboratively to create value through built and natural assets that work in harmony with their surroundings – from shopping centers in Shanghai to new rail systems in Doha and reducing air pollution in Los Angeles. Arcadis. Improving quality of life.” I love the variety that this offers!

What’s the most notable project you’ve ever been involved with and why?

There are a couple of notable projects I’ve been involved with:

  • Pentominium Tower in Dubai, UAE (which has the Studor System installed in it) – construction is currently suspended, but it will be the tallest all-residential building in the world upon completion (122 storeys above ground).
  • Security Forces Medical Center (SFMC) in Riyadh and Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabai – this will be the largest hospital in the world (design still ongoing).
Have you been involved in any projects where the Studor System has been installed? 

Yes – I’ve worked on several projects in Dubai, UAE where the Studor System has been installed:

  • Palazzo Versace – 10-storey luxury hotel and residential condominium
  • D1 Tower – 80-storey residential tower
  • Pentominium Tower – 122-storey Residential Tower
  • Plot 38/Tower 38 – 60 storey residential tower
What specific skills or attributes do you feel that women bring to engineering?

Solving problems through engineering solutions is what we can contribute to our profession. Thinking as an engineer to solve a problem is quite different in a solution of an ordinary person. As a woman, hard work, patience and creativeness is already there. Being diplomatic and more emphatic are some of the tools that I might say are useful in collaborative projects.

Women constitute a small percentage of engineers versus men. What advice or thoughts can you give to women thinking of studying or training to become engineers?

Women are capable of becoming engineers just as much as men do. By doing training, some researche and through life long experiences, women can give a big contribution to the engineering profession. All I can say is that through hard work, perseverance, and eagerness to learn, we will all succeed!

What do you enjoy doing outside work?

I enjoy doing charity work which is sponsored by the company together with the Philippine Red Cross.

Since 2011 I have also been a volunteer for the APFI foundation for children and have participated in several volunteer projects which are primarily for the less fortunate. During the summer we teach out of school youths for them to become scholars of the foundation. Aside from that, I am also actively participating in medical missions and food feeding programs. Alongside my work and home life, I find it really rewarding to be giving something back to society!

I also really enjoy costume making, concept contribution and prop preparation for the Christmas Party. One of the funniest things I’ve ever done was to join the dance group for our Christmas Party presentation – what I lacked in skill I certainly made up for with enthusiasm!


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