Job Title: Engineer
Studied: Civil Engineering
Employer: Croudace Homes Limited
About my job
What does your department do?
The department manages projects in the detailed design stage between planning approval and construction and provides technical assistance on site.
The department consists of engineers and architectural technicians who collaboratively develop planning drawings and strategies into detailed drawings ready for construction. This could include:
- Understanding any site constraints such as legal, physical or economic constraints
- Co-ordinating and instructing works such as archaeology investigations, ecology works, vegetation removal, diversions and connections for utilities like water, gas and electricity
- Completing detailed engineering designs and negotiating approval for access to the site and onsite works
- Creating a Design Health and Safety Pre-Construction Information File to highlight existing and design risks to the Build Team
- Undertaking commercial cost appraisals on the detailed design to ensure costs are within those forecasted
- Attending site regularly to assist with construction queries
- Continuing to progress approvals such as planning conditions or Building Control
- Providing conveyance plans and responses to solicitor queries in plot purchases
- Providing Management Company drawings to ensure the long-term maintenance of open spaces or un-adopted infrastructure
What might a typical day involve?
- Attending a meeting at County Highway Authority offices to discuss the proposed access design of a new development
- Creating a variety of design strategies for (say) the foul water networks of a project, appraising them from technical, cost and buildability perspectives before progressing with the detailed design of the chosen option
- Responding to site queries on a live project
- Meeting with the Technical Director to discuss the progress of critical aspects of each job
What is the best part of your job?
The best and most challenging part of the job is the need to identify, schedule and control competing aspects of a new development to ensure the main works commence on time and to budget. For example, this may be identifying the need for utility diversions, ground improvement, ecology works and sewer connections ahead of the first house foundation. No two jobs are the same and so the work remains varied and interesting.
Why did you choose this career?
Working with a housing developer like Croudace provides a unique opportunity to perform the role as client, designer and contractor. This provides a holistic understanding of the development process from land purchase through to design, construction and sale. It also means the engineer is able to influence the project to a greater extent than a more traditional role in engineering design might allow.
What was your route into the industry, what qualifications did you take?
I took a fairly traditional route into the industry: A Levels in Maths, Further Maths and Geography
Then a Civil Engineering Degree (Sandwich Course) from the University of Bath. My placement year was spent at Croudace Homes who later offered me a Graduate role. I have since achieved Institution of Civil Engineers Chartered Membership status.
Is there any advice you would give to someone looking for a career in your area of work?
My advice to those looking for a career in the industry would be to look out for placement and graduate programmes. In most housing developers, these programmes may include department rotations that provide an insight into the different careers available in the industry as a whole. In addition to broadening knowledge at the early stages of a career, the rotation programme may provide different career path opportunities in the future.
Questions & Answers
What do you like to do outside of work?
I am a keen footballer and cyclist.