- 22nd June 2017
- Posted by: Sophie Bunker
- Category: Blog
This year, the International Women in Engineering day campaign theme is ‘Men as Allies’. Our activities are embracing this and focusing on the one team approach that we have here at JBA – with both male and female engineers working alongside each other on a variety of projects. Alex Dane, one of our Civil Engineer’s, shares his passion and tells us more about his career in engineering.
How long have you worked at JBA?
Having been at JBA for the last four years I have been based in the Haywards Heath office, in the coastal and river engineering team. Prior to working at JBA, I worked as a coastal engineer for Canterbury City Council.
What’s a standard day like in your role?
There is no such thing as a standard day in my role, every day is different. In the space of one week I can be watching concrete being poured one day, in the office the next, in project team meetings and on inspections of existing coastal defences.
As an example of the variation in work, I have recently completed a nine month period as Resident Engineer on a £3M reconstruction of a weir in Port Talbot. Prior to that I was the Lead Designer for a £2.5M flood alleviation scheme in the Isle of Man. Since being dragged back in to the office (!), I have started the detailed design of a £20M breakwater in North Wales.
Top three things you like about your job?
- Getting my boots muddy
- Solving problems
- Working with a dynamic team of engineers with individual specialisms and disciplines.
Why did you choose a career in civil engineering?
I have a passion for problem solving therefore I enjoy identifying problems, their implications and offering a range of solutions. I enjoy evaluating the best way forward considering technical, financial, commercial, health and safety and environmental performance, to achieve the best solution for my clients. This is both at the high level in options appraisal stage, setting scheme direction, to the minute details on site.
Having something tangible at the end of the day that you can say you designed and built is very satisfying. This is why I chose a career in civil engineering.
What’s the best project you’ve worked on?
Recently, a particular highlight was being accepted as a chartered member of the institution of civil engineers. The expertise, projects and training programme that JBA offered provided me with an excellent range of experience that I was able to draw upon in my professional review.
I also recently started designing a scheme to protect Hurst castle, situated at the end of Hurst spit in Lymington. The castle was originally built by Henry VIII. Since his time it has been modified to become a strategic World War II naval defence bastion. Recent losses of beach material has threatened to undermine the foundations of the castle.
My remit is to design a new groyne field and beach recharge to protect the fabric of the building. It is really rewarding to be making a difference, improving the resilience of the castle so it can be enjoyed by generations to come. We will be taking the scheme to site in April, looking for completion of construction in early summer.