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Brian Boughton

Brian Boughton

company director – business development, Goldhawk Bridge Restoration


Design, Construction, Structural


United Kingdom
My highlights

Receiving two Structural Steel Design Awards for the construction of South Quays and Royal Victoria Dock footbridges, presented by the Duke of York

Being presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the opening ceremony of the Millennium footbridge

Appearing on a TV show with Clive Anderson reliving one of my memorable bridge experiences

A day in my life

My day begins with a review of my emails and correspondence.

Other than my already planned activities, I look to see if my plans for the day will be influenced by any topics resulting from my review.

There will inevitably be contact from a fellow director, a client enquiry, a message from at least one of my engineering institutions, a response regarding progress or a request for engineering advice.

I quickly scan the newspapers to check on items that may have a relevance to the world of civil engineering, in particular bridges.

My ‘working’ day may consist of carrying out checks of a bridge strengthening design.

This is followed by, if time permits, firing off a few marketing letters advising prospective clients of our specialist expertise in bridge preservation and strengthening.

I’m often asked by our commercial team for input into job planning and costing with contributions to risk assessments and method statements.

I wake up to the buzz and excitement of the expectation that another challenging and fascinating project will land on my desk.

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

Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

We asked Brian…

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because…

It's a meaningful and worthwhile career that gives you the opportunity to make a major contribution to the development and improvement of world’s infrastructure.

You’re part of the design and construction of projects that will be to the future benefit of humankind.

Also, we can carefully and diligently preserve those structures that were so lovingly built by our predecessors.

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

Tower Bridge, and it took me 12 hours.

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

I’m also secretary of a local fund raising society and a past local councillor and chairman of the parish council.

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

I wake up to the buzz and excitement of the expectation that another challenging and fascinating project will land on my desk.

I love to help colleagues solve sometimes difficult and challenging structural problems which will ultimately make a difference to the lives of the travelling public.

I love the satisfaction of clients and adding to my own knowledge and experience.

In my role as business development manager, I get huge satisfaction from convincing potential clients of my own ability and that of my company to deliver a top-class solution to their problem.

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

The scope, vision and ability that civil engineers have to solve complex problems that support the development of infrastructure by producing elegant, durable, and often iconic structures.

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

The construction of the Millau Viaduct in France.

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

That if a civil engineer had designed and built the first aircraft, it would never have taken off.

What motivated you to become professionally qualified? 

Albeit late in my career, I was motivated to achieve what represents the pinnacle of personal excellence within my chosen profession.

What does being professionally qualified with the ICE mean for your career?

That I can make a valuable contribution to the profession with the full recognition of my peers as a Fellow of the ICE.

What’s the best thing about being professionally qualified with the ICE? 

Being accepted as having the qualification and experience to join the world's most renowned engineering institution.

How did the ICE and your employer support you to become professionally qualified? 

As long standing members of the ICE, my co-directors urged me to seek membership of the institution.

The ICE's London regional director, Katherine Etheridge, provided advice and support to enhance and refine the CPD element of my application.

What do you value most about being an ICE member? 

The honour and privilege of belonging to a highly professional community of like-minded, dedicated people – many who have become distinguished individuals through foresight and innovation.

How has being a member helped your career? 

I've only been a Fellow for a short period of time, but it's proved to my peers that through a career spanning 60 years, I've established the qualities and skills required to be recognised as a professional civil engineer.

Anything else?

Although I'm now 80 years old, my life still revolves around civil engineering, specialising in bridge design, construction and maintenance. I'm still working, although slightly shorter hours.

I collect stamps, cigarette cards and post cards to do with bridges.

Construct a vehicle bridge across a massive valley in southern France

Millau Viaduct

Construct a vehicle bridge across a massive valley in southern France

Image credit: Brian Boughton

Royal Victoria Dock

Brian worked on the construction of the steel footbridge spanning the Royal Victoria Dock.

Brian's career path

I obtained a higher national certificate (HNC) with endorsements in structural engineering in 1964/65.

Since then, I completed further studies in structural analysis and bridge design at the Cement and Concrete Association and South London Colleges.

Mid-career training opportunities were used to train in management and marketing.