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Hannah cycling to the bottom of New Zealand

United Kingdom / Environment / Waste management team leader

Hannah Forbes

Hannah cycling to the bottom of New Zealand.
One of our principal waste consultants Hannah cycled to the bottom of New Zealand
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One of our principal waste consultants Hannah cycled to the bottom of New Zealand Hannah cycling to the bottom of New Zealand.

Mott MacDonald feels like an employee owned company

Why did you choose to join Mott MacDonald?

I had worked in the waste management industry and then for an environmental consultancy. I am an engineer and wanted to continue to work in waste and resource management but for an engineering firm, to develop my technical skills and become a chartered engineer.

What is the best thing about your job?

I like having a variety of projects and clients, meaning work is interesting even if it can be very busy. I am a team leader and I enjoy training and developing staff, trying to manage utilisation so that the people in my team have the right amount of work to do and are kept interested and challenged. I match up people’s skills and availability with the work that we have to do within the team, to make sure everyone is busy, not swamped. This is complex in consultancy where there can be lots of short term projects on the go. In my technical work I enjoy carrying out due diligence on new and emerging waste treatment technologies. Hopefully some of the technologies I have investigated will improve waste management internationally, reducing material sent to landfill and maximising resource recovery.

How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?

On a day-to-day basis the culture in my division is definitely to let people get on with work and trust them, which I appreciate. There is also an expectation that people will work hard. We are getting better at adapting to flexible working which will hopefully make this easier for lots of people.

On a wider basis I think Mott MacDonald feels like an employee owned company, in comparison to other places I have worked. This often means that things happen slowly but it is good to know that decisions are made taking into consideration how they will impact members of staff.

What has been your most memorable project?

I did a technical due diligence project on a thermal waste treatment process where I concluded that the technology would not meet some of the legislative requirements or be able to receive financial incentives. It was really interesting and challenging, as the outcome of the report meant that there was a project delay of over two years and lots of additional costs, so I needed to be completely sure I was right. I was, and the replacement technology selected seems to be working well so far.

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

Generally outside and not sitting still! I coach kids’ rugby and love cycling, this summer I cycled across France, which was brilliant, but I found the 38 °C temperatures a major challenge.

What would your perfect day consist of?

It would have to be a long cycle ride to somewhere beautiful, preferably with a swim under a waterfall, and lots of time to stop and eat cake. I’m getting into mountain biking so somewhere with forests and tracks that are difficult but not too much for me to stay upright!

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