Locale : North America (English)
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Lake District

United Kingdom / Water / Civil design engineer

James Hern

Lake District

I knew I would get the opportunity to learn and grow as an engineer

Why did you choose to join Mott MacDonald?

Wanting a career in the water industry, I joined Mott MacDonald in 2011 to ensure that I would be involved in design work for Asset Management Period 5 (AMP5) – the five year cycle that water companies operate around. I knew that Mott MacDonald were leaders within the water industry and had access to many experts in many fields, so I knew I would get the opportunity to learn and grow as an engineer.

What is the best thing about your job?

That you really do make a difference to people’s lives. All our work revolves around ensuring we understand why people’s houses have been flooded with foul sewage and/or surface water and then designing and building an appropriate solution to prevent it happening again.

How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?

Work hard, play hard.

What project are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on investigating and resolving foul and surface water flooding at locations across South London. This has proved to be a great opportunity to get to know London better and visit places you normally wouldn’t venture to when heading to the capital. Understanding the history of London, particularly the Lost Rivers (which are now part of the sewerage system) helps with our investigation work, so I’ve been able to combine two passions, water and history, during this project.

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

Running around playing sport, or more frequently, on the physio’s bench as my body is starting to fall apart. I’ve also spent the last three years carrying out research into World War 1 for my former University Halls of Residence, investigating the stories of students from the Hall who were killed during the conflict, so I can often be found at the National Archives at Kew.

What is a random fact about you?

I’ve discussed sewage with the Queen and was able to fly an aeroplane solo before I passed my driving test.

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