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Rob Sizer, Senior tunnel engineer, Atkins


Senior tunnel engineer

"I’ve been with Atkins for two years now and the time has just flown by. I was drawn to Atkins for the exciting projects the company is involved in, and for me in particular to gain both project management and technical experience. I’m really pleased I joined because I’ve taken on a wide range of interesting roles with the firm, including site work, design, checking, asset impact assessments, life cycle/risk assessments and project management. Joining the large tunnelling team in the Epsom office, I found my feet quickly and I’ve become a valued member of the ground engineering team.

The first major project I got involved in was the Victoria station upgrade, which has helped me to improve my knowledge and experience of tunnel design. Later on in the same year, I took up the opportunity to work on the Thames Tideway Tunnels (TTT) project which has lead to considerable client interaction. Working for Atkins I’ve found that if you’re willing to take on responsibility, great opportunities will be available to you.

I’ve particularly enjoyed the TTT project work involving impact assessments on existing rail tunnels. This fantastic project has provided me the opportunity to inspect nearly all of London’s major tube tunnels where they cross the River Thames, as well as carry out detailed technical assessments and liaise with asset owners such as London Overground, London Underground and Crossrail. I’ve really benefitted from working with some of the industry’s best engineers at Atkins, and it’s been hugely satisfying to deliver a useful product for the client.

Towards the end of 2012 I began working on a new fuel farm tunnel at Heathrow airport and utility tunnel design projects for United Utilities. My role has been really varied, involving technical assessments of contractor’s proposals, undertaking constructability and risk assessments, setting out compliance requirements in accordance with industry standard best practice, undertaking ground movement impact assessments, and agreeing acceptance from third parties. These projects are now progressing to design-and-build phases, and I’m excited that I’ll be able to continue to work on them through to completion.

As my experience and skills have developed I’ve been given greater responsibility and I know I have a bright future. The Atkins Ground Engineering Academy has been great! Through this I’ve received the coaching and mentoring needed to complete my training review, and submit my professional review to the Institution of Civil Engineers. Following Chartership I’m looking forward to joining Atkins’ Ground Engineering Professionals Programme which will support me with the training and guidance I need to help me reach my potential."

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