PHIL HAMMOND'S idea of a perfect job involves swimming with bombs.
After 22 years as a mine clearance diver with the Royal Marines, Hammond decided to transfer his sub-aquatic explosives experience to the private sector. He now heads the underwater services division of European Land Solutions (ELS), and will be on the firm's stand at Civils 2005 later this month.
'ELS is targeting the construction world to increase awareness of unexploded ordnance, ' Hammond explains.
'But we're definitely not scare mongering. With new developments springing up all over London, companies need to make sure they're not building on an unexploded bomb.
'I will be at Civils  to show the industry what we do and how it can help their business.' Hammond's tours of duty with the Royal Marines took him to the Falkland Islands and then to Iraq during the first Gulf War.
His service in the two conflicts earned Hammond the Queen's Gallantry Medal in 1982 and the Queens Conspicuous Gallantry Medal 'which is one below the Victoria Cross' in 1991.
A year after his second decoration Hammond left the Marines and applied his explosives clearance expertise to private sector work in countries like Mozambique, Egypt and Sudan.
In 2004 Hammond was poached from US explosives contractor UXB by ELS to work specifically on underwater explosives. 'I had done underwater work with UXB but when ELS offered me the underwater role I couldn't refuse.
I love the work.' When questioned on his plans for the future Hammond, now 52, jokes: 'I want to grow old, fat and rich.'
Young and out there
ROB WHALLEY is working for KBR as the client's representative on a major power infrastructure project in east London.
'It is a fantastic project.
At the moment I spend three days a week in the client's head office and two days on site with the contractor.
We are negotiating site access and working to satisfy planning conditions.
Archaeologists are on the site now looking for any artefacts, ' he says.
Whalley joined KBR three years ago with a civil engineering degree from Nottingham University.
'I've spent time within the integrated team at Southern Water carrying out design of upgrade work on wastewater treatment infrastructure to meet European legislation, ' he says.
But the job that would make most graduates green with envy was the six months spent on upgrading a path around Sydney Harbour. 'It was a tough job, but someone had to do it, ' he smiles.
Whalley plans to sit the professional review next year and is full of advice for graduates looking to get into the profession.
'That is one of the reasons that I am going to be on KBR's stand at Civils.
'Civils is a great way to meet up and network with other engineers of my age, ' he says.
Life long learner
LEARNING AND working are integral aspects of consultant Jan Hellings' life. His career as a leading geotechnical engineer has been punctuated by MScs, MBAs and a PhD due to his obsessive desire to continue learning and widen his portfolio.
'I am a firm believer in continuing professional development [CPD]. I don't think it's right or proper to have just one hit of it right at the beginning of your career, ' he says.
Hellings is giving the keynote address at Civils 2005's Achieving sustainable regeneration conference on Tuesday 22 November. He will also be visiting the main exhibition to make sure he is up to speed with the latest industry technology and techniques.
Visiting the Civils exhibition, conference and free technical seminars can be clocked up as CPD days for all visitors.
'Civils will be a real showcase for what's happening in this country, ' Hellings enthuses.
Hellings believes that civil engineering is a broad church, requiring its followers to understand all aspects of the profession. Working as a power station designer, water engineer and structural engineer has allowed him 'to understand where people come from' when working on multi-disciplinary schemes.
He is now best known for brownfield remediation work and is director of the British Urban Regeneration Association, a platform he uses to promote sustainability.
'You can't continue to build on green land when brownfield land is available, ' he insists. One of his favourite projects involved remediating an oil refinery site for new housing. 'That brought me enormous satisfaction - and fortunately it is what the government is encouraging.'