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"The people you meet and get to work with are definitely what makes Mott MacDonald"
I started in the Reading office as part of the new tunnelling team in 2013, working on a number of large scale waste water tunnelling tender designs. This included projects in Glasgow and the Thames Tideway Tunnel Scheme in London. In January 2014 I joined the Counters Creek Flood Alleviation Scheme as project manager for the design of the tunnels and shafts. The project is a new 5.5km sewer protecting a densely populated residential area of West London from basement flooding. In this role I have had experience in: developing BIM strategies for the early infrastructure design stages and learning and challenging the team in how to develop and coordinate 3D models, tunnel lining calculations and multidisciplinary design reviews learning about and seeing the connections between different types of engineering.
Seeing the Thames Water’s Counters Creek FAS project from feasibility through to reference design and planning application has enabled me to get really involved in and understand different aspects of the project. The complexity of the scheme comes much more from the planning application and land procurement side and a consequentially rapidly developing scope to meet the local stakeholder needs. As the project manager for tunnel design I have had the opportunity to see the bigger picture of this scheme and how it all connects together.
The variety of projects, roles and opportunities we all have with Mott MacDonald. Lunch time presentations profile projects and share experience across the group demonstrating the diversity of schemes in size, location and sector, and there are placement opportunities for interdivisional and overseas secondments. The company culture encourages us all to get involved. In the past two years I have had the chance to enter the internal Mott MacDonald Dragons Den competition enabling graduates to present business ideas for director sponsored funding and run our projects. I have also attended training courses including confined spaces, British Tunnelling Society conferences and been on site visits to see other live tunnel projects.
The people you meet and get to work with are definitely what makes Mott MacDonald. Multidisciplinary projects, offices and the graduate training scheme expose you to interesting people from all over the company. It’s always amazing how people make the time, want to help you and are happy to explain their area of expertise.
The Academy training has given me a structure to help focus on my own development, which could easily be lost when busy on project work. The courses have made me more confident in presenting and discussing my work. I’ve also gleaned great hints and tips in basic skills for my own time management and managing others which has been really useful with such a busy role.
My favourite part of the Academy so far was the graduate weekend, meeting people from different divisions and offices and learning about the company. Having two days together you get to make new friends and connections with colleagues who I now find myself working with two years later.
The most exciting thing has also been the most daunting: presenting my work on the Counters Creek project at the British Tunnelling Society’s Young Members Conference 2016. The presentation was in the context of “challenges of today and the challenges of Tomorrow”. It is fascinating how we all have different experiences from different projects, and was exciting to be able to reflect on and show my work over the past two years.
I am constantly surprised that everyone has time to do so much both inside and outside the working day! Mott MacDonald colleagues are sociable across the group and in addition to our project work are involved in a wide variety of company events including the company-wide sports day, STEMNet in local schools, marching for London Pride, Young Professional Excellence breakfasts and the WaterAid mountain challenges.