Asil Zaidi

Asil Zaidi

Country United Kingdom

Specialisms Design, Construction, Project management

Career highlights

A day in my life

I share my days/nights between site and office in an effort to bridge the communications gap between the corresponding teams.

When I’m on site, I start with a safety briefing with the gang. Then check up on the handover details from the previous shift and the logistics for the machine and the lining.

Then I disappear into the depths of the boreholes, reporting on the build of each cycle and support my team in real time.

When in the office, I start with a quick meeting with my coordinator and try to develop a holistic planning model for the future, detecting any conflicts and clashes with the work using simple temporal and spatial analysis software like Primavera and AutoCAD. The aim is to bring together the design, traffic, utilities and construction teams, a few among the myriad of disciplines, for a common solution.

What’s one great thing that you love about civil engineering that you didn’t know until you started working in the industry?

The diverse and multidisciplinary nature of the stakeholders involved in a civil engineering project. There is so much more to explore apart from bricks and mortar.

Which individual project or person inspired you to become a civil engineer?

Boston’s Big Dig, formally known as the Central Artery Tunnel Project in Massachusetts, USA. The project was the largest and most challenging highway project in US history, and helped reduce traffic in Boston.

I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also…

A foodie.

What about being a civil engineer gets you out of bed each morning?

To sate my curiosity to explore the nature of the built environment and affect a plethora of lives, as well as leave a tangible legacy for generations to come.

Which civil engineering project (past or present) do you wish you’d worked on?

The Pyramids of Giza.

Has civil engineering helped you overcome any personal hurdles/difficulties?

Working on-site helped me lose 15kgs of excess body weight because of the active lifestyle.

Work training/education and career

I believe graduate internships or apprenticeships are the way forward if you want to learn and work practically. Stagger your professional and academic time throughout your life, as curiosity and learning ends only with life. Though it’s up to you whether you want to add another leaf to the tree of knowledge through research or build a treehouse in it, I would suggest a mix of both.

I’d recommend a career in civil engineering because...

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because every morning my work motivates me to get out of bed to help to create tangible infrastructure that not only touch so many lives daily, but also their future generations.

A career in civil engineering lets you work in the open air - unless you’re underground - but in either case, it’s definitely more exciting and adventurous than an office cubicle.

So, if you really want to effect sustainable change better put on a pair of steel toes, a hi-vis jacket and a hardhat to get on with it.

What’s the biggest/most complex thing you’ve made out of Lego? How long did it take you?

A fortress.

Name one civil engineering myth you’d like to bust.

Civil engineering is resistant to innovation.

Anything else?

I enjoy public speaking and swimming.

I want to become a civil engineer.

See how your studies lead to a civil engineering career

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15-18 years

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18 years +

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