Twenty seven year old Tim Lucas joined structural engineer Price & Myers straight from university in 1996. Six years on he is director of 3D engineering.
Route to the job I was always interested in how things work and what buildings do. I remember looking at the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris when I was 17 and being fascinated by the massive network of cables.
I joined Price & Myers after studying architectural engineering at Leeds University. The attitude at Price & Myers was that responsibility is like a piece of rope and that you pick up as much as you can handle. Early on, we won a design competition for a footbridge in Dublin and I worked as project engineer on the 51m span Millennium Bridge in partnership with Robert Myers, so I was chucked in at the deep end really. I had a year working at another major consultant but it didn't really work out as I wasn't being given the same level of responsibility.
Expectation I realised that I wanted to do my own thing with the 3D design techniques I had learnt. So I went to Price & Myers and asked it if I could rent some space in its office and start up my own 3D design company. It suggested we run it together as part of Price & Myers.
The reality It's worked out really well for both parties. It's great to have Price & Myers' experience and reputation behind the project and helps to give Price & Myers a more funky image as well. Among our first projects has been a fibre glass, timber and steel bandstand next to the De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill, the iconic modernist building built in 1935. The new group has exceeded our expectations.
We've had lots of work and turned over a profit, which for a new group like this, is unusual. All the jobs we've done have been great fun.
Advice Be confident and follow your interests. Have an opinion about design and try to follow that in your working life. Don't just think of things in terms of a technical issue. Think about the value it has.