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Working lives

Clive Loosemore, 49, is a project director with Taylor Woodrow, working on the Kings Cross Redevelopment Phase 1.

Route to the job After graduating from University College Cardiff with a degree in civil and structural engineering in 1974, I joined Taylor Woodrow and embarked on a site based career as an assistant engineer. This was followed by a spell in the design office which gave me enough experience to become chartered. I moved on to project management, responsible for small projects.

The most interesting project I have worked on was the rotation of the Tudor warship Mary Rose. This involved bringing the ship into the upright position within the confines of the ship hall using a series of jacks and under water sprays that had to be trained on the vessel to prevent it drying out.

A milestone in my career was my involvement as sub-structure manager on the Storebaelt Bridge project in Denmark, the largest bridge in Europe. The project was a joint venture with four major European contractors which allowed me to benchmark my own managerial skills and to learn new ones.

After four years in Denmark, I became project manager for the construction of a North Sea gravity base structure for BP, another career high point. This potentially risky project was an outstanding success - a mark of the calibre of people involved and the way the team worked together.

I then went on to project manage over £200M in contracts and became director responsible for building works in Taylor Woodrow's southern region.

Given my love of site work I jumped at the chance to become project director at Kings Cross on the construction of underground ticket halls to improve passenger flows through the underground station.

Expectations Having worked on civil engineering projects during my university holidays, I thought I was used to site life. I hoped I would be involved in exciting projects that I could look back on with a sense of achievement.

Reality My expectations have been fully realised. It has proved to be a most satisfying career. I have been privileged to meet some real characters and am glad that I chose civil engineering above any other profession.

Advice I have found the experience of working with young people and seeing them develop very fulfilling.

The advice I give is to take opportunities that come your way.

Do not be afraid to make mistakes but if you are given a specific task, analyse what is being asked, take ownership and try to improve the process.

At Taylor Woodrow at least, the importance of the role of the sitebased project manager is acknowledged. It is recognised that those with a talent for running construction sites do not need to progress to a head office role to gain promotion or increased financial award. This attitude is to be applauded.

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