Muhammad Talha

Muhammad Talha

Deputy Lead Civil Design Manager

Country: Saudia Arabia

Specialisms: Design, construction, project management

Career highlights

How I became a civil engineer

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your own design being built on site. It is an amazing feeling when you drive around a city, street or road and see a building or bridge which you have designed.

My biggest career highlight has been reaching Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng) status with ICE – an achievement I’m truly proud of. What I’m doing now is definitely a career highlight too.

Before starting on the Ridyah Metro I was also on the project team of the Dubai Metro - two of the largest metro projects in the world. My current role includes the day to day management of civil engineering design teams including depots, tunnelling, architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, traffic, roadway, urban design, ventilation, geotechnical (ground specialists), hydrological (water specialists), materials and utilities.

I supervise a multi-disciplinary team of engineers to lead the management of the design which includes the thorough review of contractor’s design for a complex rail project. The work includes reviewing the basis of design, geotechnical information, permitting procedures, drawings, reports, specifications and all other work necessary in assuring a fully operational rail system that meets all client`s and project requirements including schedule, quality and safety standards.

Another career defining project was working on the Birmingham PFI project which covers a huge variety of work to improve and maintain Birmingham’s roads and public infrastructure.

Muhammad in front of one of Ridyah's metro trains

Muhammad in front of one of Ridyah's metro trains

My working day

My day starts at 8am and finishes around 6.30pm. I start with checking my workflows on a data portal which is used by the contractor. This is where all designs are shared with stakeholders. I have to check what designs have been submitted and review them.

Around midday I spend time with my team members and discuss daily progress and issues. Then I report to my managers and give them the highlights of daily progress on the project.

I attend design meetings in the remaining part of the day and liaise with a multi-disciplinary team of engineering managers to make sure all design synergies are captured and addressed.

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Civil engineers are the comfort providers. It is the mother of all engineering disciplines. Civil engineers have a major responsibility and play a vital role in the development and maintenance of the world’s infrastructure.

Muhammad Talha

Deputy Lead Civil Design Manager

Education

After finishing school I studied basic engineering in a college for two years (equivalent to A levels) and then pursued a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.

After working for few years I decided to specialise and completed my master’s degree in steel structures. After graduation I started working in highway structures and bridges.

I wanted to train to become a Chartered Civil Engineer and had to gain diverse experience to achieve that. To become a good civil engineer you need both design and construction experience. I was lucky my employer enabled me to go on a training agreement with ICE.

It took me about five years to complete my training and get my membership with ICE and chartership with the UK Engineering Council.

In my spare time I listen to music, swimming and watching Formula 1 and military aircraft.

I want to become a civil engineer.

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