Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Working lives

Route to job From early on I knew I wanted to be a maritime civil engineer - I probably spent too much time building sandcastles on the beach.

I went to Brighton Polytechnic in 1986 to do a civil engineering degree and spent a sandwich year working in a design office and on site. After graduating with a BEng, I joined Gibb working on the design of maritime structures, including the Cardiff Bay Barrage.

I later went to Oman to work on the design and site investigation of three fishing harbours.

When I became chartered I wanted a change and saw HR Wallingford as the leader in my chosen field.

Expectations I didn't want to be stuck in an office all the time and wanted to be able to see the product of my work. I also wanted variety - not the same thing every day.

Reality I'm a project manager on 10 to 15 maritime projects at any one time.

This involves the entire project cycle from initial marketing, proposal writing, negotiating and project set-up, to people and budget management. My work often involves site visits to anywhere, from the UK to the Caribbean or Pakistan. The company undertakes a lot of research and this enables me to apply leading edge technology in my work. I deal with a range of technical issues, from solving complex engineering problems to considering environmental impact and managing risk. The more unusual projects at HR include physical model tests for a 1m high plastic collapsible flood barrier, breakwater design for an aquarium and physical model tests of how rain drains off the 150m high Maitreya Budda (NCE 1 February).

Advice A broad experience early on, especially site experience, is essential, even if you want to go into a specialist discipline later. This ensures you include wider aspects, such as buildability, into your research, design or management work.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.