I graduated from Loughborough University in 1982 with an Honours degree in Civil engineer and started working as a site engineer on major highway works in the south of England for Aggregate Industries. I gradually took on increasing amounts of responsibility and started to take on the role of a Site Manager.
I moved to Derbyshire and started running mainly drainage and highway contracts for G F Tomlinson of Derby, and major sewerage schemes for Costain including some maritime works. A down-turn in the industry brought about a return to running major highway works including the Lutterworth Southern Bypass, Lane Rental schemes on the M5, A1 and A500.
After eighteen years of highway works, I needed a change in direction and a fantastic opportunity became available to work for Bowmer & Kirkland running industrial building projects. These have included a test centre for Alstom and Virgin Rail for their new tilting trains in 2001, and a sports centre for Harborough District Council in 2004. However, the biggest successes came with a new manufacturing facility for Rolls Royce (£12M) in 2005 followed by a world-first Test Bed for Rolls Royce (£30M) in 2008. This test bed was unique in that it was the first one of its kind in the world where Fan Blade-off testing could be conducted internally. The design was at the limits of reinforced concrete and steel design to withstand the massive loads that have to be contained and the whole project enable Rolls Royce to complete the design of the next generation of Jet engines.
My last construction project as a Senior Project Manager for the Newton-Arkwright regeneration scheme for Nottingham Trent University (£70M) in 2008. This project involved the refurbishment of two grade 2* buildings (one built in 1901 and the other in 1952) and the construction of a connecting glass and concrete structure which have now achieved national recognition.
As the recession hit the industry, I became redundant, but with a teaching qualification I started lecturing at Chesterfield College. After a period of adjustment, I realised that my career had taken a very rewarding turn. I became aware that my energy and enthusiasm for construction translated into exciting and interesting lectures for my students. I could give real life experiences and examples related to the topics being studied, and I took a real interest in helping students achieve their potential in the wide range of career opportunities that the industry has to offer.
The construction professional studies area grew in numbers of students and successes with progressions into industry or Higher Education.
I was delighted to be offered a position as a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University where I am currently working with undergraduate and post graduate students. I have always worked with professionalism and integrity as key standards and I would like to continue this with my membership of the Chartered Institute of Building.