ExpertiseProject Management, Design
Helping to save Hogarth Flyover in West London,whilst keeping the traffic moving
Joining the Army
Living and working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
My working day
At the moment I have no fixed routine in my days, which suits me rather well. I also live in Riyadh – a long way from home.
I’m no early riser, but I find that to avoid the worst of the Riyadh traffic madness, I do have to drive because until the metro opens, there’s very little in the way of public transport here.
I work very closely with our client so most of my days are spent responding to their needs, around which I have to fit the work I have to do for that.
My role requires me to be in almost constant communication with people here and in our offices back in the UK, so on any given day I can be talking with different experts, a part of my job that I enjoy.
Sometimes, when the heat is not torturous, I sit in the sun…and enjoy a falafel.
I’m a civil engineer but I’m also ... entrepreneur or writer.
My career inspiration
My maths teacher. I was going to study mechanical engineering – and he convinced me that the maths in civil engineering was more challenging. I don’t think this is true, but I was also a maths geek at the time… so that’s why I did it.
We asked Jack…
What’s one great thing that you love about civil engineering that you didn’t know until you started working in the industry?
Bridges! Who knew bridges were ‘civil engineering’? I didn’t! As a discipline, it’s probably the purest form of engineering, and as we all know, it takes a lot of effort to make things look good and simple.
Which civil engineering myth(s) you would like to bust?
It’s not just about concrete and bricks. It’s about people, governance, water, energy, science, technology, politics, economics, finance... and the million and one other things that Jane and Joe Bloggs out there won’t appreciate.
Also, not all civil engineers are obsessed with Lego.
Which civil engineering project (past or present) do you wish you’d worked on?
The pyramids at Giza. Think of them whenever you think that we’ve never been as advanced as we are today…
What about being a civil engineer inspires you?
It’s knowing that I can make a genuinely positive contribution to the lives of people. Whether it’s clean water, or a smooth ride to work, this matters.
Would you recommend a career in civil engineering?
It’s one of the great professions! Just as you can’t define what a society is, you also can’t define what a civil engineer is – because we’re involved in virtually every part of our society.
At times, this requires us to be sociologists, at times economists… but always underpinned by the strength and discipline of the sciences. And great things can – and have been – achieved, in civil engineering and beyond.
I had no real designs on higher education. So I joined the Army, and it helped me find a path, through scholarships, to college and eventually university. Never looked back.