Name: Anthony Lucas
Occupation: project engineer, Cementation Foundations Skanska
Route to the job: After graduating in civil engineering from the University of Manchester, I worked in the anchors, grouting and minipile department of Bachy Soletanche on the Jubilee Line Extension in London. Then I went to Denmark as a site engineer within the geotechnical team for the Copenhagen Metro and was involved with a wide range of activities, including construction and installation of secant piles, sheet piles and groundwater wells. In Copenhagen I was promoted to section engineer responsible for a number of geotechnical activities across the city. When I returned to the UK I joined Cementation Foundations Skanska, working as a project engineer for the compensation grouting and monitoring project at Harrods redevelopment in London. I now work at Cementation's ground engineering operation in Doncaster, assisting the technical manager with designing and pricing various geotechnical schemes and following them through to contract stage.
Typical day:New business enquiries of varying scope and technique dominate and priorities change constantly throughout the day. We also provide support to live contracts and to our area offices. Each day has a new challenge, whether visiting a site to develop a solution with a client or liaising with a supplier.
Highs and lows: I enjoy the dynamics of challenging work within a close-knit team. Highs include securing a contract, successfully carrying it out and exceeding the client's expectations. That's always our objective! On the downside, 'gazumping' is not limited to the housing market -it sometimes happens during the tendering process and is very frustrating. The other lows are the commonplace industry gripes of time spent away from home, my wife and new baby daughter.
Ambitions: To continue contributing to the success of Cementation and to help maintain its ground engineering operation as the best in its field. The company provides an excellent environment for career development and I'm determined to maximise my potential.
Advice: Take opportunities and if you don't like what you are doing, either tell someone or change it yourself. The industry expects a high degree of flexibility, so ensure the reward is worthwhile.