Robert Gregg

Robert Gregg

Development Support Technician, Lancashire County Council

Country United Kingdom

Specialisms Engineering technician, construction, design

Career highlights

How I became a civil engineer

Becoming professionally qualified as an engineering technician with the engineering council and becoming a full member of ICE, was a benchmark standard which allows me to stand out from the rest of the crowd and also allows me to demonstrate my professional competence when delivering highway schemes and setting the standards in providing quality control for the construction of new highways.

Implementing policy change at county level is also a great level of achievement. For me to update a policy and bring new practices and principles into play for the specification and construction of highways to a county standard really is testament to my credibility.

Education

My pathway was one quite opposite to many, I started out learning the tools and learned from the ground up although I always wanted to enter further education. At the age of 36 I attended a part-time HNC whilst working full-time which led me to become professionally recognised and excel in career as a result.

You are never too old to enter further education. I now attend site to carry out site inspections and supervise operations. But once upon a time it was the other way round!

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Leaving your footprint on the built environment and being able to look back and say, 'I helped build that,' is a great feeling."

Robert Gregg

Development Support Technician

A typical day in your life

I usually start the day by making a coffee whilst my computer loads up and then I prioritise my workload for the day and attend any meetings that I have pre-arranged.

I will look at any planning applications the local planning authority have consulted me on and provide them with comments from a highways perspective. This is to prevent detrimental impacts to highway safety and where necessary ask for mitigation measures to reduce any likely impacts to the local highway network.

I will also critique detailed design drawings being submitted under Sections 38 and 278 of the Highways Act 1980. This is to ensure new highways are constructed to the relevant standards.

Then I inspect and supervise the works under legal agreements between developers and the local highway authority to ensure the works are carried out to a satisfactory standard which also protects public funding from any remedial action being carried out.

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because..

It provides you with a great sense of satisfaction. Knowing that you have put your skills to good use to design and construct a road or structure, or even remediate a brownfield site, providing betterment and helping to shape our built environment for the future of ourselves and others is a great feeling.

You will travel to places you would not likely be able to go in any other industry and the flexibility and benefits that come with the job allows for a great work/life balance.

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

For me it wasn’t one specific project, it was a number of projects from the channel tunnel to the Millau viaduct. From the Hoover Dam to the amount of work that went into the construction of the many 19th century Viaducts which connected many different towns by integrating transportation links for the use of steam trains.

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

The Eiffel tower in just under an hour!

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

Working a number of varied, simultaneous projects gets me ticking, it really helps me to stay focused knowing that I hold great responsibility here. It also helps to enjoy doing something that you are good at as well because no two days are the same and the thrill of a challenge is exciting.

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

The freedom and flexibility of being able to manage your own workload splitting time between the office and site while getting to see some amazing sights along the way. Leaving your footprint on the built environment and being able to look back and say "I helped build that."

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

There seems to be the myth that civil engineering is predominantly a male dominated industry, when in fact that is totally false. It was a female engineer who contributed to the design of Britain's infrastructure back in the 18th century and there are more female engineers now than ever before with some of the best engineers of our time being female engineers, helping to make the world a better place.

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

The Milau viaduct

Complete this phrase: I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also…

A dad, fiancé, avid walker and cyclist.

Anything else? i.e. personal causes, hobbies?

I enjoy fishing and being out in the countryside. One of my personal causes is to raise awareness of premature birth and the amazing local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after having a premature baby of our own.

I want to become a civil engineer.

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