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Bachar Hakim

Bachar Hakim

Head of pavement design and asset management, AECOM




United Kingdom
My highlights

Currently head of pavement design and asset management at AECOM

Construction engineer in Syria. Civil engineering degree from Aleppo University

Introduced innovative materials and new technologies to road, rail and airfield infrastructure

How I became a civil engineer

I'm a Chartered Engineer, a fellow of ICE and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT).

I lead a team of technical specialists who provide advice on transport infrastructure design, innovative research, sustainability, life cycle modelling and privatisation.

During my career, I've been involved in civil infrastructure projects design and asset management in the UK and overseas.

I successfully transferred research into practice and introduced innovative materials and new technologies to highways, airfields and rails infrastructure.

I've authored more than 70 technical papers.

Civil engineering is a satisfying and rewarding profession, especially when I witness the implementation of my design work and my contribution to infrastructure development and management, economic growth and betterment of the society.

My working day

I review, discuss and provide guidance to my team on projects design, progress, programme quality and deliverables.

I often organise and attend web/physical internal meetings to discuss and plan strategies, business performance growth, marketing, client management, projects and proposals, staff mentoring, health and safety and wellbeing.

I also attend external client/stakeholder and committee meetings to discuss projects and business development.

Since my team works on international projects, I travel overseas for short periods to discuss projects, tenders and business development.

We collaborate and implement our team added value in terms of innovation and asset management to projects for government bodies, concessionaires and private clients.  

I'm part of AECOM’s global aviation and EMEA highways groups.

I sit on the AECOM cross sector asset management group to discuss growth, strategy and project needs.

I support projects on company-wide digital transformation, innovation, global challenge, data management and sustainability.

We asked Bachar…

How did your early career start?

My early career included working in the construction industry in Syria after obtaining a civil engineering degree in 1985 from Aleppo University.

I joined Scott Wilson (a legacy AECOM company) in 1997 after completing my PhD in civil engineering from Liverpool John Moores University and an MSc from Dundee University.

I progressed within AECOM to technical director and am currently the head of pavement design and asset management. 

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

Watching the heart-breaking events and the vast destruction of Syrian cities and towns can easily lead to despair.

But being a civil engineer provided me with vision and hope to help rebuilding a better Syria.

And to develop a more sustainable environmentally-friendly modern infrastructure in order to provide a better future to Syrian people.

What are the challenges now facing the rebuild of Syria's infrastructure?

I believe there are three main challenges facing Syria in rebuilding its infrastructure.

Firstly achieving peace and justice, then identifying sources and methods of funding, and finally developing a strategic plan to invest in people and sustainable solutions.

Which civil engineering myth(s) you would like to bust?

Civil engineering is not only about building infrastructure.

It's also about inventing, designing, implementing solutions for managing the nation assets, to generate sustainable growth and improve the wellbeing of the society.  

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

The Romans' irrigation system of aqueducts, water wheels and canals, and road construction.   

Also, Al-Jazari, a great 12th century Syrian engineer who invented the principle of transferring linear motion to rotary motion, which was key to the industrial revolution.