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Paul John Pring

Paul John Pring

Executive director, Diriyah Gate Development Authority


Project Management, Design, Construction


United Kingdom
My highlights

Working on large, fast-track schemes around the world

Becoming professionally qualified as a quantity surveyor, project manager, logistics planner and infrastructure engineer

Becoming a Fellow of the ICE

A day in my life

My days are usually full.

They start at 5:30am, and I’m in the office by 6:45am.

I have several site and office meetings with contractors, designers, and project management companies.

I also speak to colleagues in the client organisation, and design, development and delivery organisations.  

I usually leave the office around 7:30pm, often 6 days a week.

It’s one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers, with great support from a caring institution, which really does well in nurturing and supporting the profession globally.  

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

In terms of civil engineering, I’ve been blessed with working with so many great engineers.

Starting at the beginning of my career with Fred Nash, the bridge engineer at British Rail South East.

Then into my senior career where I was working at Mott MacDonald under ICE past president, Keith Howells.

And later with some of my colleagues here on the Diriyah project, like Paul McKeown and Mark Jaimeson in Hamni Global, Fahad Almesfir in Binyah Contractors and many others.

We asked Paul…

I would recommend a career in civil engineering because…

It’s one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers, with great support from a caring institution, which really does well in nurturing and supporting the profession globally.  

The ICE is one of the foremost recognised organisations throughout the world.

It does a great deal to support the students and membership as they grow and develop.

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

Big fast-track jobs that leave a legacy and the interest in delivering one of the world’s largest developments.

What motivated you, or is motivating you, to become professionally qualified?

In short, Keith Howells and Paul McKeown.  

I was already well qualified with chartered status as a quality surveyor, project manager and logistics and transport planner.

Then I was provided the opportunity to join the ICE with my infrastructure engineering career in full flight.  

I owe much to these two individuals.

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

The ICE is one of the best professional organisations in the world.  I’m immensely proud to have achieved Fellow status.

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

Support, contribution and a sense of belonging to a profession that has been such a large part of my life and to which I have the honour of contributing so much.

What do you value most about being an ICE member?

The camaraderie and the support of like-minded individuals with a similar outlook on life.

How has being a member helped your career?

Being a chartered member of several organisations has allowed me the breadth of career and geographic experience that is rare these days.  

Professional status is important as it provides the comfort to employers that I’ve reached the top of a career.

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

The ICE was extremely supportive.  

My current employer is a fairly new organisation, and so now I’m helping to set up the training schemes which will see civil engineers from all over the world learn, become qualified, nurture and grow.

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

That civil engineers are nerdy and boring.  

Some of my civils colleagues over the years have been comical, practical jokers and many work in practicality rather than in the theoretical world.

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

That civil engineers have a crazy sense of humour and an innate way of viewing the world.

They are also caring and generous in the way they help nurture others on the journey.

Civil engineering has shaped our modern world in more ways that can be imagined.

It’s such a broad spectrum of work.

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

It has helped me to survive for 43 years in the world of work without ever being unemployed.  

Some of the people I’ve met on the journey have been inspirational leaders and have helped me overcome the lonely times when working away from family.

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

A Star Wars spaceship.

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

I would’ve loved to work with some of the greats from history like Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Thomas Telford.  

Some of their projects like the Royal Albert Bridge or the Severn Tunnel would’ve been exciting to have been a part of. 

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

a quantity surveyor, project manager and logistician, as well has a half decent amateur photographer.  

I would love to say rugby player too, but I retired 12 years ago.

Anything else? i.e. personal causes, hobbies

Although I stopped playing rugby at 50, I still like to support my local club, Ivybridge RFC, in ways other than playing.

I’ve served on its committee, and in the last seven or eight years, I’ve contributed as a sponsor to help support players and further the game.

Paul's career path

I went to work straight from school, at age 18.  

I did an ordinary national certificate (ONC) and higher national certificate (HNC) in building, before moving to a part-time degree and masters.  

After securing my masters, I embarked on my professional qualifications and that was a journey through quantity surveying, project management, logistics planning, and infrastructure design and engineering.  

I was always fortunate to be involved in great projects. I’ve delivered some of the world’s largest schemes in transportation and in utility infrastructure.

Major projects

I’ve worked in infrastructure engineering for the last 43 years, delivering many large, fast-track schemes in that time.  

These include:

  • West Coast Route Modernisation in the UK
  • Doha Metro in Qatar
  • Power stations in Erbil, Dohuk and Sulimaniyah in Iraq
  • National Grid in the UK and the US
  • Metrolinx Canadian national rail network
  • Cab radio programme in the UK
  • Several water treatment facilities in the UK and Middle East
  • Diriyah Gate Development in Saudi Arabia