Route to the job:
'I obtained my first degree from Portsmouth Polytechnic in engineering geology & geotechnics in 1986 and, after spending two years working for a civils consultant in southern England, returned to academia and undertook an MSc and PhD in engineering rock mechanics at Imperial College. Since then I've worked for several companies and organisations on civil, mining and petroleum projects both in the UK and overseas. I returned from New Zealand in the summer last year and made for the West Country, obtaining a job with Jubb & Partners with the purpose of heading and developing its geotechnical department.'
'In my last job I generally dealt with one or two large projects at a time. At Jubb & Partners, I am usually juggling at least 10 projects at various stages of completion and the turnover is very fast and varied. I deal with everything from proposals and budgets through to investigations, design and reporting, as well as management issues such as business development. I manage to escape the phone and computer about once a week to get on site, usually somewhere pleasant, here in the south west.'
Highs and lows:
'I thoroughly enjoy working and living in the West Country, although I have not escaped a reasonable daily commute. I get a great deal of satisfaction in overcoming the many challenges that are unique to each project, although once in a while it would be nice to get something relatively straightforward. I do not foresee a reduction in the amount of paperwork that is created for every job.'
'I would like to develop and widen the practice's current areas of work into markets where the geotechnical component is not only more significant but also more instrumental to the final product. On a grander scale, there is clearly a need for our profession to improve its standing and become more involved in policy making and dictating how our environment is shaped. At present, I feel that geotechnical engineers are perceived solely as the mercenaries of development.'
'Specialise by all means but maintain a good working knowledge of your associated disciplines.'