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Francis Kwateng

Francis Kwateng

Head of temporary works, Equans UK & Ireland


Design, Construction, Structural


United Kingdom
My highlights

Engineering Technician ICE qualification

ICE Ethics Committee member

Branch chair of the ICE Cheshire Committee

A day in my life

I do a variety of things on a daily basis. It could be:

  • Reviewing the temporary works element of a bid
  • Reviewing and approving temporary works designs
  • Doing detailed calculations 
  • Reviewing contractors’ temporary works provisions
  • Updating temporary works procedures and ensuring board approval
  • Updating temporary works provision and reporting to the board of directors
  • Appointing temporary works coordinators and supervisors
  • Delivering workshops and training sessions
  • Advising our commercial teams on how we can deliver a sustainable project through the efficient design of temporary works
  • Auditing sites to ensure compliance with British standards, regulations and legislation 
  • Helping with leadership visits

We play a massive role in the drive towards building a world that’s sustainable for every generation.

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

Surprisingly, I always wanted to be a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force because of my passion for flying, although I loved breaking things and trying to figure out how to fix them.

My good friend’s dad was a civil engineer and he used to talk about his work with so much passion. I always admired what he did.

Following his passing, I decided I would study civil engineering and perhaps that would enable me to also make a positive impact on society.

We asked Francis…

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because…

It’s one of the few jobs where you can make an impact on the world we live in.

We’re enablers – whether it’s by designing large structures or constructing them, we have a hand in shaping our world.

We play a massive role in the drive towards building a world that’s sustainable for every generation.

I’m always proud of what we build, and I visit some of my past projects just to admire the work we’ve done.

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

A keen airplane enthusiast.

Previously an amateur dramatics actor who loves the stage.

I love cooking and I also spend some of my spare time supporting local schools on providing better education for children.

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

I love airplanes and was naturally drawn to the infrastructure enabling them to function.

I once built a Lego version of Heathrow Airport. It took me six days.

Although I didn’t quite have all the right pieces, I substituted some with cardboard sections. I was proud of my work.

I’ve contemplated rebuilding it again, hopefully this time with all the right parts.

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

The excitement of what might spring up that day, or what exciting projects I could be working on.

But more importantly, the joy of fulfilling my purpose of designing and building structures that can changes the lives of so many people, whether it’s hospitals, schools, roads or bridges.

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

The variety of roles you can fulfil within the built environment. The knowledge you have as a civil engineer can often be transferred into so many other jobs.

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

Oh goodness me... so many to choose from!

I would’ve loved to have worked on the Channel Tunnel. The sheer scale of the tunnels and the precision to which they work is just amazing.

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

That the industry is mainly run by men.

There are so many female engineers that I’ve worked with.

You only have to look at the last few presidents of the ICE and their future leaders, and you’ll see that a large percentage of civil engineers are female.

What are you doing to help address climate change?

The drive to address climate change is part of my DNA.

Temporary works design solutions are always carried out based on the reduction of carbon through reusing or repurposing.

We work with many suppliers and contractors who look to provide low carbon solutions for us, and we’re constantly evaluating them to find the best possible solution.

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

I’ve had my fair share of racial issues.

Having to make informed engineering judgements that impact people’s lives has given me the ability to challenge what’s not right when I see it, regardless of the position someone else has.

What motivated you to become professionally qualified? 

I’m currently an Engineering Technician and looking to become chartered soon.

This is an important milestone in my career.

Achieving this status is evidence of the knowledge, skills and experience I’ve acquired throughout my career.

It’s also recognised around the world as evidence of your knowledge and experience.

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

Being professionally qualified means that I can prove to any employer that I’ve gained a certain level of knowledge and skills to make good, sound engineering judgements.

It helps me grow my network and I’m able to share my experience with others.

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

It provides me with the opportunity to give something back to the industry.

It gives me access to some of the best minds in the country and reading materials.

As a member of the ICE Ethics Committee, it provides me with an opportunity to contribute towards shaping the ICE and growing our reputation across the world.

Having been a past chair of a branch, it provided me with the opportunity to reach our local communities and make an impact on the lives of people.

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

I’ve always been surrounded by excellent roles models and civil engineers who have always wanted me to succeed.

So the right platform has been created to provide me with the help and support to make this happen.

What do you value most about being an ICE member? 

The support and knowledge I receive from various members, whether it’s through lectures and seminars, or the support that is provided regionally and nationally to help me grow.

How has being a member helped your career? 

It’s given me access to a much wider network of civil engineers whose knowledge I can tap into to help me develop my career further.

Anything else?

Working hard to ensure there’s racial equality at all levels in our society.

I currently chair an independent advisory group for Cheshire constabulary.

This group holds the police to account, and our mission is to ensure we drive out racism and hate within our county.

Connect the UK to continental Europe with a very long undersea tunnel

The Channel Tunnel

Connect the UK to continental Europe with a very long undersea tunnel

Francis' career path

  • A-levels in physics, maths and chemistry
  • BSc in Civil Engineering
  • MSc in Temporary Works and Construction Method Engineering
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) internal auditing accreditation
  • Temporary works design qualification
  • National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) health and safety qualification
  • Level 3 teaching and training qualification
  • ICE professional qualification

Major projects