What’s your most memorable work moment?
I recently went out with a client to inspect a sculpture project called Tall Trees prior to it leaving New Zealand. Renowned British sculptor, Sir Anish Kapoor, developed the concept and gave us a basic model. We then had to make it work for a 15-metre tall sculpture comprising 1 metre spheres. It was really challenging to design but awesome to see the finished product. I have a photo of a man in a cherry picker elevated behind the sculpture, which showcases its sheer scale.
What would you say is your biggest success?
Getting my membership of the Institution of Structural Engineers in the UK was a massive achievement. It involved an interview, an assessment of my career and a 7-hour exam. It was rewarding to have met the standard for a professional engineer and to be awarded Chartered status.
What do you enjoy about being a structural engineer?
I like seeing projects I’ve worked on get constructed. It’s great to see a tangible outcome to my work. I’m lucky enough to have worked on a wide variety of project types requiring me to deal with a wide range of people and to learn new skills, both of which I enjoy.
We hear you’ve had some unusual jobs in the past. Can you tell us about them?
I worked in a whiskey store during the GFC in London, a hotel porter at Blakes Hotel in my early days in London, and in my student days I dressed up as numerous characters including the Ribena Berry, the Nesquik Bunny and Captain Continental. Captain Continental was a great gig as I was flown down to the Winter Festival in Queenstown so dressing up was a small price to pay!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Always have a nice suit. First impressions count!
What’s your top tip for clients and consultants looking to get great value from their structural engineer?
Involve your structural engineer early on before your project’s been defined. We can add a lot more value that way.
As a keen surfer, where are your top surf spots?
I normally go to Piha but I really love both Raglan and the Whakatane Bar.