Why did you decide to join Mott MacDonald?
I was working on water tunnels for a contractor in London which was very satisfying work but I wanted to branch out into design and more varied types of tunnels worldwide. With a reputation as a leading tunnel designer, Mott MacDonald had a varied portfolio of projects and also operated out of many locations which made them the perfect choice. I have been able to visit and work in places that I may have never been able to otherwise.
What project will be one you tell your kids about?
Usually how Mott MacDonald designed the Channel Tunnel every time we travel on it. But as they have only ever lived in a world where the Channel Tunnel is a reality means they don’t fully appreciate how it was a dream for hundreds of years. Though in tunnelling I believe we are the “editors” of people’s busy lives. Part of our job is to have people or materials transported more easily between A & B without them realizing. So the fact that people often don’t notice our tunnels should be seen as a compliment.
When you’re not in the office where can you be found?
I am a very keen amateur astronomer and own a large telescope. Our astronomy group organizes stargazing parties and public outreach events where it is always an awe inspiring moment for people when they see the moon or rings round Saturn for themselves. When I was in New Zealand on a project I was able to go out with the Auckland Astronomy Society on a star party where I was able to observe the southern hemisphere. Seeing the Milky Way from those latitudes is truly amazing. I also enjoy running and when not racing or training with my running club will often be out in the countryside at weekends on long runs.
What is a random fact about you?
I am a secularist/atheist but enjoy engaging with religious groups to have friendly discussions and I have sometimes appeared on the radio. There is a lively Christian group at our offices in Croydon where I’m always made to feel welcome. I do believe it is always important to try and understand the point of view of others who may have differing worldviews to your own.