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Kent Baxter

Kent Baxter

Assistant Contract Manager of Structure, Ringway Infrastructure Services

Expertise

Construction, Project management

Location

United Kingdom
Career highlights

Getting promoted to contract manager for the Structures division of FM Conway

Working on most of the highway bridges over the River Thames from Tower Bridge to Teddington Lock

Gaining ICE Tech Eng qualification in 2019

A day in my life

I liaise with consultants and engineers to develop designs of bridge replacement, bridge re-decking works, and bridge maintenance projects throughout Wiltshire to ensure what they design is buildable.

I organise a team of construction and maintenance gangs, allocating and programming work for these gangs to undertake throughout the year.

I identify temporary works, write design briefs, meet contractors to help them understand what’s required and check their safe system of works to ensure they’ve understood the work and can deliver it in a cost-effective and safe manner.

I put together Health and Safety Construction Phase Plans, Safe System of Works and I produce Health and Safety Files when work is completed. I write works programmes and closely monitor works through the work being undertaken.

I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also ...   a person learning all the time. I take an interest in the world around me and try to make it better for all. I’m a director of a management company which maintains the housing estate where I live, and I also sit on the local parish council.

My career inspiration

My contract manager when I was a site operative for FM Conway. His name is Andy Dyson.

He asked me to help him survey Hyde Park Corner in around 1994. When I asked questions as to what we were doing and why, he actually took time to explain it to me. I put myself through surveying college and achieved a BTEC with Distinction.

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

Understanding how structures work. They move!

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

It can’t be done.

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

The Channel Tunnel.

what about being a civil engineer inspires you?

The challenge of delivering my work to a high standard with the satisfaction of a job well done. Most of which can’t even be seen when the work is completed but would definitely be noticed if it wasn’t done right. Also, the pride in a legacy of bridges enjoyed and used by thousands of people.

would you recommend a career in civil engineering?

I’ve worked in civil engineering for over 30 years and have enjoyed working in some very interesting places indeed.

The work we do is essential to ensure people can go about their daily business, yet most have no idea at all of what’s involved at all.

The work can be challenging, but always very rewarding. You’re always learning as the subject matter is constantly changing with modern technologies, and is so vast

Education

1988: Grave digger and labourer

Lewisham College - Bricklaying NVQL2 – Became a foreman

Woolwich College – Land Surveying BTEC-Distinction – Became a supervisor

Bromley College – AutoCad – Distinction

NEBOSH Certificate in Health and Safety in Construction

NVQL3 Construction and Civils engineering supervisor

NVQL4 Construction and Civil Engineering Site Manager, became contract manager

Contractors Responsible Engineer – Bridge Construction on Network Rail Projects

Hobbies

I’ve designed and built, with no assistance, several koi ponds. The last one is in my garden and is a gravity fed, 5ft-diameter and 4.5ft-deep, self-cleaning vortex heated pond. I enjoy motorcycling and music.