What’s the most unexpected thing about your job?
Recently, how well all my colleagues were able to adapt to working at home. We have over 40 staff and all now work at home most of the time, still liaising with each other and external project teams to develop designs and prepare drawings which are allowing contractors to keep building.
Did you have any role models when you were younger?
Not career-related ones, but both my parents were self-motivated, hard workers who were patient and customer-focused. They started and grew their own business, where I worked with them and my siblings. That’s got something to do with why I wanted to start and grow a business too, which also has a very “family” feel to it.
What inspired you to do the job you’re doing now?
My 6th form careers teacher at school told me that being good at maths and physics, I should consider engineering. I read the University prospectus’ for a range of Engineering degrees and most liked the content of the civil engineering courses.
Any influential toys during childhood?
Your favourite subjects at school?
O and A levels, Civil Engineering degree from Imperial College London.
Your reason for choosing this career?
I liked the professionalism of Consulting Engineering and the way that everyone works in teams to get projects delivered. The continual flow of new projects and gradual build-up of one’s own knowledge and experience keeps things from becoming stale.
Tell me about your career path to date?
I took a job as Graduate Engineer with Andrews, Kent and Stone in 1983 after graduating from Imperial College. Was based in their London office near Oxford Circus and became a Senior Engineer there after becoming Chartered with the Institution of Structural Engineers. Moved to Lister Beare in the early ‘90s, based in North Hertfordshire but still doing mainly London projects. In 1998 I left and set up my own practice, which has now grown to over 40 strong.
If you could have any job what would it be? How does it differ from what you’re doing?
Something that involved more overseas travel, I think. My career has given me some nice opportunities to work on projects outside the UK, but I am still hungry for more!
Your advice to a young person considering a career in STEM?
Keep an open mind about which actual area you want to work in; that way you can follow your heart and do what you most enjoy.