Civil and Structural Engineering, UK
Peter always had a flare for building things, drawing and maths and turned his passion to his profession when he became a chartered engineer. Peter joined Mace in 2012 after working for a concrete specialist for 15 years. He is now an operations director and is just as passionate about his career today as he was when he started out.
- How did you get into what you do?
- I spent my first 17 years working as a site engineer, became a chartered engineer and then a site agent for a contractor, where I was lucky enough to get some cost and programme experience and soon joined a trade contractor. At that time, construction management was an emerging form of contract and I was keen to make the transition. All my experience set me up well.
- Why Mace?
- That's easy! After my old company went into administration I was lucky enough to have a few job offers on the table. Mace stood out among their competitors because they had style and substance and I believed I could contribute more at Mace. In fact, through my work with trades, I had done a lot of work with Mace and I’d always enjoyed working with them.
- What do you do day-to-day at Mace?
- I’m an operations director. It’s great because even now, four years on, it’s still varied. When it comes to all things engineering and concrete, I have an advisory role which can be on any part of the project, right from inception to completion. I have to admit, I enjoy all contracts – the more complicated the better!
- What do you enjoy most about your role?
- I enjoy doing the early things like advising on preconstruction and design development and methodologies before tenders. It's also great to have the variety of working between academic, technical and practical application.
- What is your biggest aspiration at Mace?
- I would really like to reinforce the great work we are already doing with our graduates by placing a bigger emphasis on getting our engineers to be trained as builders on site. As a contractor, we have strong robust processes which mean that we can help our people understand the culture and principles of building. This will inevitably help us to deliver even more complex buildings in the future and reinforce our position as a leading contractor.
- What’s your proudest achievement at Mace?
- With concrete being the second most used commodity after water, I'm proud to say I was elected the President of the Concrete Society. Not only was I the youngest President they had ever had, I am the first contractor to take up the position in their 50 year history. I think it's amazing recognition for my contribution.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- Learn how to build and learn how things go together, not just physically but also the time and cost implications of the decisions you make. Most people have an understanding of two of these things, but it is very rare to find someone with all three.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
Things where I can give back. I’m the Chairman of a sports club and have worked together with the cricket and football users of the ground to raise £350,000 to construct new facilities and improve the pitches.
I am also a trustee of Kiddies Support Scheme (KISS), a registered charity that works in Uganda to support children with access to education. I am incredibly passionate about making a difference and with KISS we are able to generate real sustainable development. The best way out of poverty is education and training, so we work with local people to develop their skills and knowledge so that they can help themselves to develop their community.
- If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would he think?
- I would be surprised. As a student it was a struggle to get out of bed for 9.30am, now I'm regularly at my desk or on site at 7.30! I have a passion for what I do more than I ever anticipated - even after 35 years. The pleasure I’ve had out of working in this industry is just something I could never have envisioned at 20.
“As a contractor, we have strong robust processes which mean that we can help our people understand the culture and principles of building. ”