Kent Baxter

Kent Baxter

Assistant Contract Manager, Structures, at Ringway Infrastructure Services

Country United Kingdom

Specialisms Construction, project management

Career highlights

A day in my life

I liaise with consultants and engineers to develop designs of bridge replacement, bridge re-decking works, and bridge maintenance projects throughout Wiltshire to ensure what they design is buildable.

I organise a team of construction and maintenance gangs, allocating and programming work for these gangs to undertake throughout the year.

I identify temporary works, write design briefs, meet contractors to help them understand what’s required and check their safe system of works to ensure they’ve understood the work and can deliver it in a cost-effective and safe manner.

I put together Health and Safety Construction Phase Plans, Safe System of Works and I produce Health and Safety Files when work is completed. I write works programmes and closely monitor works through the work being undertaken.

My career inspiration

My contract manager when I was a site operative for FM Conway. His name is Andy Dyson.

He asked me to help him survey Hyde Park Corner in around 1994. When I asked questions as to what we were doing and why, he actually took time to explain it to me. I put myself through surveying college and achieved a BTEC with Distinction.

“​‌

I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also ...   a person learning all the time. I take an interest in the world around me and try to make it better for all. I’m a director of a management company which maintains the housing estate where I live, and I also sit on the local parish council.

Kent Baxter

Assistant Contract Manager, Ringway Infrastructure Services

What I love about being a civil engineer (that I didn’t know before I became one)

Understanding how structures work. They move!

The civil engineering myth I’d like to bust

It can’t be done.

I’d recommend a career in civil engineering because

I’ve worked in civil engineering for over 30 years and have enjoyed working in some very interesting places indeed.

The work we do is essential to ensure people can go about their daily business, yet most have no idea at all of what’s involved at all.

The work can be challenging, but always very rewarding. You’re always learning as the subject matter is constantly changing with modern technologies, and is so vast

The project, past or present, I wish I'd worked on

The Channel Tunnel.

What gets me out of bed every morning?

The challenge of delivering my work to a high standard with the satisfaction of a job well done. Most of which can’t even be seen when the work is completed but would definitely be noticed if it wasn’t done right. Also, the pride in a legacy of bridges enjoyed and used by thousands of people.

The personal hurdles civil engineering has helped me overcome

A problem isn't flat, it’s three-dimensional. Try to look at it from as many sides as you can before planning your course of action.

My major projects

Hyde Park Corner Subway Development 1995-2000

Elevated Harrow Road Cathodic Protection Programme 2000-2002

Westminster Bridge Span Seven Fascia Replacement 2002

Chelsea Bridge Refurbishment 2005-2006

Woolwich Barracks Parade Ground Extension and Boundary Wall 2007-2008

Education

1988: Grave digger and labourer

Lewisham College - Bricklaying NVQL2 – Became a foreman

Woolwich College – Land Surveying BTEC-Distinction – Became a supervisor

Bromley College – AutoCad – Distinction

NEBOSH Certificate in Health and Safety in Construction

NVQL3 Construction and Civils engineering supervisor

NVQL4 Construction and Civil Engineering Site Manager, became contract manager

Contractors Responsible Engineer – Bridge Construction on Network Rail Projects

My passions

I’ve designed and built, with no assistance, several koi ponds. The last one is in my garden and is a gravity fed, 5ft-diameter and 4.5ft-deep, self-cleaning vortex heated pond. I enjoy motorcycling and music.

The most complex thing I’ve made out of Lego

Tower Bridge. My wife gave it to me as a Christmas present to keep me occupied for a few months. I completed it in 2 days!

I want to become a civil engineer.

See how your studies lead to a civil engineering career

The job you end up with in civil engineering is likely to link back to what you studied at school, college or university. Here you can see your options at any age.

Studying at school

Up to 16 years

School / college

15-18 years

College / university

18 years +

Change career

Any age