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Ho-Yin Lam, Graduate Tunnel Engineer, Atkins


Graduate Tunnel Engineer

Why did you choose to join Atkins?

I was interested in tunnelling during university and I just wanted to be involved with the biggest and most interesting projects. Being at Atkins gives me the opportunity to do that. Since joining I’ve been able to work on Crossrail and Tideway among a load of other projects. There’s a lot to be excited about, and we have a strong team so there’s a lot of support for graduates who are still learning.

What have been your key achievements since joining Atkins?

It’s hard to summarise really because there’s so much that I’m learning and it changes weekly. Overall though I think the biggest achievement is keeping up with my chartership progress, but all my learnings and every piece of work that I produce feels like a positive achievement to be honest.

What do you enjoy most about the scheme?

I think what I’ve enjoyed most is learning on the job; I learn a lot better this way and things I learn tend to stick better. It’s good to look back through your work over a few weeks and think positively about it and know that the skill taken to produce it will stay with you.

How would you describe your role?

I’m a graduate engineer and I think the role is a bridge between being a student and an engineer. Whilst I have to produce work of a high standard I get given the extra time I need to learn to do it properly, compared to someone more experienced.

So I suppose it’s like being a trainee with any trade really, like a carpenter or plasterer, only the trade in this case is construction drawings, calculations and reports.

What training and development you had so far?

At the moment I am working on my technical knowledge and every project I’ve been on so far has been a great development opportunity and there has been a lot of support from the engineers around me. It’s like having a number of personal tutors at times.

I have also been on a few courses that have been really useful for my development and should give me a boost for the next phase of my chartership goals.

What attracted you to Atkins?

The reputation is a big factor and also Atkins has its name on a lot of the major infrastructure projects that I wanted to get involved with. There’s also the stability and support that a big company can offer as well - for me it was a pretty easy decision.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I think the thing I like the most is being able to interact with all the biggest projects, being able to flick through a set of drawings that have development plans which will affect millions of people’s lives and be landmarks for decades to come. Just to be part of the team that delivers solutions to societies' needs, it’s good for the ego on one hand but humbling as well when you look at the combined effort that is being put into the meticulous planning of these big projects.

Where do you see your career developing in the next five years?

I can’t really look that far into the future at the moment but I know I want to be chartered by then. Hopefully I will be taking on progressively more responsibilities and be a key member in driving the team forward.

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