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Australia / Transport / Transport digital delivery lead

Ben Harland

Cycling in Tajikistan
Cycling in Tajikistan
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Cycling in Tajikistan Photo taken while crossing the Pamir Mountains on a long-haul ride through Central Asia

There’s not been a year yet when I haven’t been on the Tunnels team holiday

Why did you choose to join Mott MacDonald?

I came as a student not really knowing what to expect, and found the working environment at Mott MacDonald was just a great place to be. The projects were big, complex, and fulfilling; the technical standards were high; the culture of the teams I worked in was great and there seemed to be opportunities all over the world. When my course at Oxford came to an end, I didn’t apply anywhere else.

What is the best thing about your job?

The team I work with. My colleagues are fun and intelligent, and excellent engineers; they are people I trust and enjoy working with from day to day. Also, a quality team is what wins the most interesting projects - and fosters the best growth in its younger members.

How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?

There’s a good sense of camaraderie. It’s friendly and in some ways feels laid back, but people have high standards when it comes to quality of work and commitment to the job. People often eat lunch together or socialise at the weekends, and staff of all levels can be found at team meals and social events. There’s not been a year yet when I haven’t been on the Tunnels team holiday.

How would you describe your role and responsibilities to friends or family?

I’ve recently transferred to the Sydney office to lead the ‘digital delivery’ side of projects in the transport sector. That means working with the design teams to apply the latest technology and systematic collaboration theory to how we work as a team, improving how we produce our designs, collaborate, and deliver them to our clients. Basically I manage how the design information flows through the team and ends up on the client’s desk - these days normally as an information-rich virtual model. I also get to play with some fun technology: virtual or augmented reality applications for immersive design reviews for example.

When you’re not in the office where can you be found?

Outside. Hiking, surfing, windsurfing, snowboarding, kayaking, on the bike, out for a run, or reading a book in the sunshine. I’m a member of my local church, so might be out for a drink or a meal with that crowd. For the last few years I’ve also been on the UK Board of a charity for an orphan children’s home in the Punjab, India – that’s been a great learning experience and the kids are a delightful bunch.

What would your perfect day consist of?

I recently experienced an almost perfect day in the mountains in Austria with a couple of mates. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the beauty and tranquility of the mountain passes were only slightly marred by the noise of our motorbikes tearing up the endless twisties. Topped off with a beer on the veranda in the evening sun, it doesn’t get much better.

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