Craig Lucas and how his practical mind led to an Engineering career

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. Craig Lucas is supporting the campaign and tells us more about his career in engineering.

Craig Lucas

Hi, I’m Craig Lucas, JBA’s Asset Inspection, Coordination and Training Manager. I have been with JBA for almost 6 years and am based in the Warrington office.

From a young age, I was unsure what I wanted to do as a job. I did however always know I wanted a career in Engineering. Through high school I always found myself to be more practically minded than my peers. This led me to take Engineering as a GCSE, the only person in my school to do so!

A typical day

One of the aspects of my work that I particularly is the variety of projects I work on at any one time. Although I am not a qualified engineering graduate, I have gained a lot of experience in supporting our engineers and working on engineering projects. Work ranges from walk over surveys along rivers, producing detailed CAD drawings and GIS mapping, through to onsite property and topographic surveys and underground confined space culvert condition inspections.

In 2016, I was leading a team of inspectors and an emergency rescue team. We collected condition data for over 200 culverts for the Environment Agency (EA) after the December 2015 flooding. During the last 9 months, I have been coordinating many asset inspection projects for Stockton-On-Tees, Darlington and Calderdale Councils. Day to day activities for such projects include, identifying the location of assets on maps and combining them with the clients existing asset register. I then group the assets into work package maps for 3 – 4 inspectors to complete onsite condition inspections.

I am also responsible for the quality assurance checks for all onsite data collection works. This is performed through JBA’s GISmapp website which typically hosts the asset data.

Finally, I am involved with the handover of the data to the clients. This often requires me to carry out a presentation and some basic asset inspection training for their staff. I find these handover meetings very rewarding as the clients are usually very happy to get the information. We often discuss options for further follow on work, such as JScreen assessments and individual confined spaces culvert inspections.

Three things I like about my job

  1. The JBA team – not just at the Warrington office, working across the company as a whole
  2. The opportunity to develop new skills – since joining JBA I have been encouraged and supported through my individual development plan. I am currently waiting for the results of a HNC that I have completed through The Open University
  3. Variety of Projects – I have been given the opportunity to work on a vast number of projects. This includes Property Level Protection schemes, Asset Inspection projects, Confined Space Condition Inspections, Strategic Flood Risk Assessments, Flood Risk Assessments and Flood Attenuation Schemes, to name just a few!

Favourite project

My favourite project so far was ‘The State of The Nations’ assets data collection project that we took part in, back in 2014. This was a very high-profile project set up by Government following serious flooding across the UK. The EA were required to carry out rapid inspections of all their flood risk management assets across the UK.

The project combined several consultancy staff, many of which were supplied by us. There were also EA staff, as well as members from The Army, The Royal Airforce and The Royal Navy. Myself and two colleagues, Anthony Abbot and Andy Wood, were responsible for the coordination and collection of condition information for 11,823 assets across Yorkshire.

The members of The Armed Forces were put through asset inspection training before being sent to us to direct out on site for the data collection phase. We were seconded to an EA office in Yorkshire. There we were responsible for two members of the RAF, one from the Royal Navy and 16 from the Army.

We had six weeks to inspect all the assets across Yorkshire and we completed the task in just under four weeks. This is testament to the fitness of the members of Armed Forces. Many of them used to run all day along the rivers of Yorkshire taking photographs of the structures, features and flood banks as they went.

Want to know more?

Contact Craig Lucas to discuss his work across JBA or visit our engineering pages for more information.

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