Been a blast! So long and thanks for all the fish.
Worked for 10 years in a bank, went back to university while part timing at a Fish and Chip Shop.
Graduate Infrastructure Consultant – Highways Maintenance and Design
WSP UK ltd
I am a Highways Engineer who likes designing Roads. I'm a big nerd and like solving problems with both brains and occasionally dice.
I live in Central Scotland in a small town called Polmont with my wife and two young children.
I work in an Engineering consultancy in Edinburgh. The company has offices all around the world, I quite fancy Seattle.
I like my career because I get to spend my day solving problems and designing stuff for people to build. I do my best everyday to improve the areas I work in.
I love to read fiction, sci-fi particularly. I have lots of nerdy hobbies like running Dungeons and Dragon games for my friends and playing video games with my son.
I love most food, my family describes me as “Greedy”, but Guacamole is my absolute favorite.
I am a Senior Engineer working on the design and maintenance of Highways
Following career direction confusion early in life I ended up serving almost 10 years in customer service at Standard Life Bank.
Found enthusiasm for new career in Civil Engineering and “went back to school” obtaining a 2:1 BEng (hons) in Civil Engineering.
I now work for Engineering Consultant, WSP UK ltd, in the Infrastructure department. I’m currently enjoying projects in Highways dealing predominantly with road design and maintenance.
My day to day work ranges from working on data analysis for Highway asset management (sound exciting right?! it is!) and design of new roads and upgrades. My role in design usually involves designing and specifying one element such as Road Pavement or Safety Barriers. I work on projects all over the world (currently Northern Ireland and Central Scotland) from the comfort of my office in Edinburgh.
I love several things about my job:
- I enjoy trying to use huge piles of data to find good value solutions to clients problems. I am aware this makes me a massive nerd, but making sense out of a chaotic pile of information and putting it to good use gives me great satisfaction.
- I enjoy working through a problem to find the best solution I can.
- I love designing something that then gets built and used.
As an engineer I see my job as making the best use of what we have to make life better without ruining my great grand-kids ability to do the same.
My Typical Day: I spend my day in an office trying to make sense of lots of information and connect it to something real.
I am office based. I rarely get the chance to spend time on actual constructions sites. This is mainly because my work is done by the time construction starts. I do take every opportunity I can get to see construction on site as it’s important to connect theory to reality.
I have a wife and two young children; I have breakfast with my family and commute in to my office by train.
At work I am usually working on the same thing for several days/weeks. As a consultant I usually have to carefully manage what I do and how long it takes so I’ll plan my work out over days and weeks. This time management is important as clients are usually paying for my services by the hour and I don’t want to waste that money.
I try and do as much of my work as possible on the computer in an effort to save paper. I communicate by E:Mail/phone/Internet messaging and use programmes like Word and Excel a lot. The majority of my work is digital so it can easily be passed around the people I am working with, checked and changed. The whole construction industry is working towards better and more complicated digital models of construction projects in order to make those easier and safer to build, maintain and demolish.
I will usually have a clear goal for my work (in construction we call this a “Scope of works”). I will work within this scope to give the client whatever it is they need. This could be:
An opinion on why a particular road is failing (falling apart)
A design for a new part of a road (like a new safety barrier for example) that is correct to the current rules
Advise on what to do in a particular situation (like: “Do a big pavement repair now to save money on small repairs later”)
I travel from time to time to meet with clients or colleagues and sometimes to visit sites. This can be exciting as I get to see new places and meet new people who are passionate about the same things as me (building stuff!).
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Extroverted, friendly, enthusiastic
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Every time someone asks me for my opinion and then does what I suggest is awesome.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I did not have the slightest idea at the time, it took me 10 years to realise I wanted to be an Engineer.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, mostly for being cheeky or not paying attention. (I get distracted easily)
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Ideally a Science Fiction writer (although I am a bad writer).
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I have many these days thanks to Spotify but The Smashing Pumpkins are the best.
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Rollercoasters. Never has so much science and engineering gone into something just to make me go “Woo!”
Tell us a joke.
Driving along the motorway I overtook an AA van, the driver was in floods of tears sobbing over the steering wheel. I thought to myself; “He must be on his way to a break down”.