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Alex Garman, Chartered Civil Engineer, Atkins


Chartered Civil Engineer

Business area: Civil Engineering and Advanced Technology, Infrastructure
Job title:
Principal Civil Engineer
Years at Atkins: 
7 Years (Graduate alumni)

How is your work taking infrastructure into tomorrow?

I've been fortunate enough to have a real breadth of opportunity in my career so far at Atkins. I have worked on several key major projects which are high up on the national infrastructure agenda, including Heathrow & Gatwick Airports, Hinkley Point C and Thames Water Eight2o framework. More recently I have been seconded into HS2 as a Construction Manager and have been involved in bidding work across the globe from a new Metro in Copenhagen, Denmark to an Oil Field Development in Uganda. I have also spent 3 months working with my colleagues in the Atkins office in Delhi, India, which was an incredible experience.

I was also seconded for 12 months to work at Sir Robert McAlpine on the Bloomberg project in the City of London, a major Fosters+Partners designed commercial development which also included a new entrance into Bank underground station.

I spent a large part of 2016 helping to design and build improvements to the Heathrow Terminal 4 short stay car park, forecourt and surrounding road network. I worked closely with the airport operators, airlines and passenger representatives to try and improve the journey and passenger experience to and from the terminal.

What do you think has had the biggest impact on your career development to date?

Achieving Chartership status with the ICE in 2016. In joining the Atkins Infrastructure Division, all graduate engineers are placed on the Graduate Development Programme and a formal training agreement with their associated professional institution, in my case, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). Working towards this professional milestone involves proving evidence against a certain set of Engineering Council Attributes and then sitting a final review and interview on a panel of ICE reviewers in London.

Also, during my time at Atkins, I have had the opportunity to develop a technology product and business, called SiteBand. SiteBand aims to use wearable technology to improve health and safety and productivity on construction sites. I developed the business case with two other Atkins colleagues and we won a New Civil Engineer technology award and featured in the monthly magazine.

Atkins also has very close relationships with industry steering committees and institutions. Alongside colleagues from across the industry, I also had the opportunity to help lead the ICE London and South East Diversity Taskforce, to help increase the diversity and inclusivity across the civil engineering profession

What social, society or CSR activities have you been involved with at Atkins?

Whilst on the Graduate Development Programme at Atkins, I was a keen STEMNET ambassador. There is a huge STEMNET community in Atkins, led by a hub for each UK region. We have a large group of engineers and scientists helping to address the skills gap throughout the industry, and try to encourage students from more diverse backgrounds into a career in engineering. I helped school and university students understand the role engineers play in designing, building and operating critical infrastructure across the world. Beyond the Graduate Development Programme, I've continued to regularly visit schools and universities to talk about my experiences as a civil engineer, to help inspire the next generation.

I helped lead the Pathways to Engineering programme, where we aimed to continue the legacy of the 2012 Olympics to encourage inner-city London teenagers to pursue an engineering apprenticeship at Atkins. I helped provide work experience, training and support to a group of students from the City of Westminster College.

I regularly play sports with colleagues across the organisation, ranging from football to basketball. In my lunch breaks, I regularly run and attend circuits classes.

My team in the South-East (London and Epsom) are very sociable, and we have regular trips and team building get-togethers. There’s a great Christmas party for all staff and their partners, which generally involves lots of embarrassing speeches and awful dancing!

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