A Levels Maths (Pure and Applied), Physics, Biology. School in Rochdale, Lancashire.
BSc Civil Engineering (Newcastle), Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (CEng)
After graduating, I worked for a contractor in tunnelling (Carsington Aqueduct, Derbyshire), then for a consulting engineer which became WSP in 1993
WSP, In the London office which is in Chancery Lane and the HQ of this large British consultancy. WSP is listed on the stock exchange and employs about 9000 people globally.
Me and my work
I am a structural engineer, travel all over the globe, design high rise buildings and other projects for our clients.
I am based in London and help run the structural engineering team. We design structures for all kinds of buildings and structures ranging from high rise, railway stations, airports, hospitals and schools to bridges, sports stadia and museums. We have projects in Africa, India, USA, China and closer to home in Denmark. We use Building Information Modelling (BIM) software on most projects and have lots of partners including architects, project managers, cost consultants and contractors.
My Typical Day
Sort out email, attend project design reviews, check on progress of projects with clients, visit a site possibly.
My days are actually very varied. We have a large number of projects and I have to know about quite a lot of them. I sometimes get asked to give an opinion about a site or a potential project and give a view on such matters as how high to build, how close to water or another building we could build whether the building should have a steel or concrete frame (or timber sometimes). I have to travel to meetings overseas and was very involved with Libya until February last year. We are planning to return soon. I also get involved with training and development of graduates and new engineers to help understand the way WSP works.
What I'd do with the money
I run ‘Construction Rocks’ which is a music competition event. This year we will raise money for one of the construction related charities and I will add the money to that donation.
Construction Rocks has raised over £40,000 for various charities in 4 years. It turns out that in many orgainisations in the construction industry there is a group of musicians prepared to learn some tunes and enjoy playing them very loud to their peers. The event is a bit like a battle of the bands with judges and prizes. This year its on 18 October – let me know if you want to come along………………….
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative entrepreneurial engineer
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Fountains of Wayne
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Outside my family and work I do two very fun things. I can play a bass guitar and I have a Maverick mountain bike, both give me a lot of fun every week.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Biology – and we had really inspiring teacher. I was OK at applied maths and enjoyed that too.
What did you want to be after you left school?
An engineer actually. I just liked the practicality and that something seemed to get made or built or created eventually.
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
Not really, trouble with a small ‘t’ maybe. Oh, once there was a fight and another time I chucked my sandwich box into the Hippo enclosure at the Zoo. That seemed to upset some people.
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
The unbelievable satisfaction of winning the structural engineering role on the Shard project in London
Tell us a joke.