Design Manager Angeliki Tompea: Redefining Construction in Saudi Arabia

With a master’s degree in architectural engineering from Greece and more than 15 years of experience, Angeliki Tompea is the design manager of the Hill team managing the delivery of multiple facilities planned by the Events Investment Fund (EIF) in Riyadh, KSA.

Speaking four languages – English, Spanish, Italian, and Greek – and having worked in Greece, Qatar, Bahrain, Malta, and the UAE, Tompea is hardly a newcomer to the global construction world. Rather, she is fully at home in Saudi Arabia and finds herself at a defining moment in the Kingdom where, she says, “magnificent things are happening at a captivating time.”

The limits of architecture, engineering, design, and construction are all being challenged as the Kingdom is forging ahead with several multi-billion-dollar projects.

“The construction industry is being redefined through the use of revolutionary technologies and sustainability principles,” Tompea explains. “I am excited to be part of this change and to have an active role in this enterprise,” adding that Hill has been serving the industry for decades and is now offering its expertise to assist our clients in Saudi Arabia in accomplishing their vision.

For her part, Tompea is diligently working to develop assets that are relatively new for the region. For confidentiality reasons she could not divulge details of her planned projects. However, she points out that particular attention is being given to seek inputs from regional experts and experienced professionals to ensure the local culture, history, and social dimensions of KSA are respected.

“I am happy to be working with teams where the exchange of ideas and experiences are cherished and everyone’s voices are heard and respected,” Tompea says.

A Journey into the Built Environment

Sharing her love for the built environment, Tompea says it has “been an amazing journey” for her.

“It starts with designs being developed, visualizing the building, scheduling all the steps that lead to success, and accomplishing the target and finally working closely on the details and the material,” she says.

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“And then an even more amazing journey begins with onsite construction, observing the building taking shape, growing day by day. You can walk in it and around it, feel the space wrapped around you, and feel the textures. The emotions of walking in a building that you have put so much of your energy to become reality, are indescribable. You somehow feel that is yours and you are part of it,” she says.

Driven by her enthusiasm for architecture and the unlimited options to explore new elements, Tompea selected the construction industry for her career. Other factors that contributed to her decision were the chance to work and live in different countries to extend her horizons, meet interesting people, and come across new ideas.

“Whichever path you take, diversity awaits,” she says. “The experiences I have gained have developed me not only as a professional but also as a human. It’s a vivid, challenging, constantly upgrading sector welcoming everyone that is keen to learn, work hard, and take risks,” she says.

Breaking Barriers, Offering Perspectives

Like many, Tompea notes the construction industry is still considered by many to be a male bastion. But those headwinds are subsiding, and barriers are being broken with more women making their way in, she adds, noting that women are bringing a fresh perspective to the construction industry.

“Often, women are required to work harder to prove themselves in the industry. But once their work is recognized, the path gets easier, and the sky is the limit. The construction industry is a constantly evolving field: it is a social hub, it has a fast pulse, and it is one of the few work arenas where one has the chance to see, in real life, to touch, walk, and live the product,” she says.

“We already see more and more women engaged in the field and succeeding in leadership roles. This is an inspiration for women all over the world and it can only get better,” Tompea says.