I worked for a large Design & Build company as setting out engineer when I left Polytechnic and then moved to a larger company who specialized in civil engineering within the water sector.
MWH Treatment Ltd at Melbourne Water treament works
“I am a civil engineering manager responsible for building water tanks you could fit the school hall in, pipes you could ride a bike down; using equipment that could move or lift a house – to ensure every drop of water is clean and safe!
Hi, I’ve been an engineer in the water industry for 27 years. I’ve built water treatment facilities to process water into safe drinking water and dirty water to a standard that is safe to go back into our rivers. I have been responsible for these projects all over the country; many of which cost millions of pounds and years to complete. Each project I’m responsible for brings new challenges where I am able to use all my engineering skills and creativity to solve the variety of problems that arise during these vast construction projects. I’m registered as an Incorporated Engineer with the Engineering Council and an Associate Member Of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Managers. These are professional organisations which ensure the things we do as a society are done in the right and proper manor. I’m very proud of achieving these professional engineering titles and work hard to maintain them.
My Typical Day
Planning and co ordinating resources to complete the scheduled work for the day, the week and sometimes years ahead.
I’m lucky enough to have no typical day. I could be doing any of following things:
Calculating the capacity of cranes- we don’t want them to fall over!
Ordering vast quantities of concrete and reinforcement steel.
Inspecting pipes, tanks and structures that hold water.
Designing and ordering of equipment.
Supervising and monitoring the workforce.
Holding meetings with the client.
Keeping a track of all the costs the site is spending: are we in budget?
Coordinating all the site activities to prevent potential clashes.
Trouble shooting and resolving problems.
What I'd do with the money
I would like to spend it on a training package to help third world communities maintain their engineering equipment that supplies their clean water.
A community’s new water supply would give them a healthier life provided they have the engineering skills to maintain it. A simple engineering solution like digging a well may not be the right solution as it could get contaminated. A borehole may be a better solution but it would need specialist equipment that would need to be maintained to ensure it continues to work. Training the community in the correct engineering skills would allow them to look after their supply themselves.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Honest, creative and hardworking
Who is your favourite singer or band?
My current favourites are Mumford and Sons the music is great to drive too.
What's your favourite food?
Any type of fish dish is always my first choice -fish and chips being my favourite!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I took the helm of a luxury power boat and sped around the Solent.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Now that would be telling !! :-)
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
I developed an idea of freezing water which enabled me to carry out work instead of using underwater divers. I was very proud to see it work successfully!
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?
A vintage watch restorer. This micro engineering has always fascinated me and seeing these old time pieces work again is brilliant.
Tell us a joke.
There was a dog who asked his owner to tell him a joke, The owner said, “No! that’s stupid you’re a dog and wouldn’t understand what a joke is.”… but the dog kept pestering “please, please”… Eventually the owner gave in, “Right! Here you go then… Knock knock….” With that the dog ran round in circles shouting, “Woof, woof ! There’s someone at the door ! there’s someone at the door !!” :-)
Working deep in the ground, accuracy is still very important.
It is my responsibility to order the correct crane needed for the work. I had to calculate this one to lifted this 2.5 tonne pipe at 72 metres away!
The two massive stainless steel tanks to hold clean water were made in a factory and then brought to my site on a huge lorry. Why do you think they were made off site?
Each of these tanks holds 465 cubic metres of water and are made from individual sheets of steel only 4mm thick!
I had to plan the construction sequence of this gigantic concrete tank, it was very complicated to do.
The concrete sections (making the circular tanks) were made in Ireland and transported to England! They eventually held enormous amounts of water. How did we make them watertight?
What do you think about this crane? Is it overloaded?