Whilst working for the Defence Communications Service Agency we employed two Atkins consultants to undertake some due diligence at Northwood HQ on behalf of the MoD in the UK. After a discussion of the opportunities available for advancement and growth, personal and professional development and the job itself with Robert Little and Brian Hudson (chief and principal engineer in Atkins communications division) over lunch whilst sat in the grounds outside the Epsom Mansion, I was offered a position that I could not refuse. Atkins had exactly what i was looking for to progress my career.
What did you do before you joined Atkins?
I was working my way through a variety of positions - project planner, implementation manager, business manager and SCIDA for the Defence Communications Service Agency (DCSA). I joined when I was 17 as a telecommunications apprentice and spent the next nine years essentially designing and managing communication systems/platforms and processes for the Ministry of Defence.
How would you describe your role and responsibilities?
I help our three strategic market sectors in the UAE - Property, Infrastructure and Rail - in achieving our business objectives by complementing our core Design Centre Dubai (DCD) disciplines in delivering integrated and innovative information communication, audio visual and security technology solutions for our clients, whilst taking technical leadership for our team and project delivery.
How do you describe what you do to friends and family?
I head up the ICT (information communications technology) & Security team in Dubai working for one of the world’s leading engineering consultancies.
Do you have any professional accreditations?
I'm currently awaiting my interview for my chartership with IET and hoping to start an MBA within the next six months.
What key projects have you worked on?
I feel lucky and extremely privileged to have led the ICT, AV and security packages working on so many projects across different geographical areas for a number of different sectors, such as MoD Corsham New Environment Project in the UK; Yas Waterworld, Dubai Opera and Central Market Redevelopment projects in the UAE; TI SANG Barracks Project in KSA; Kazma Camp Project in Kuwait; Lusail in Qatar; and the 5-Star JWM Marriott Hotel in Oman.
What are you currently working on?
We have a number of current projects my team is supporting, with my role as lead consultant: Riyadh Metro Park & Rides, Al Habtoor City, Hilton Giralda, Hilton Double Tree, Dubai Creek Harbour, TI Training Institute, Lusail QDVC, and numerous other exciting confidential projects in the region.
What achievement are you most proud of?
There are a few that I am especially proud of but I think the most enjoyment has coming from assisting in the development and growth of the ICT teams that I have worked with, both in the Epsom and Dubai offices.
What’s the most technically challenging project you’ve worked on at Atkins?
My project management consultant role within the Central Market Redevelopment project in Abu Dhabi without a shadow of a doubt was the most challenging of projects. The stakeholder management effort alone as a result of the complexity of the client's internal framework and processes coupled with a design that did not include a single technical package involved a considerable amount of thinking outside the box and long hours... probably why I now have such lovely salt-and-pepper coloured hair! However I must add that I was lucky enough to be integrated into one of the most dynamic, hard-working and enthusiastic project teams in my career. I learned more contractually, commercially and technically than on any other project - the experience and lessons learned of which I now get to pass through our own team to better improve our contractual products.
How would you define your career at Atkins so far?
Slow and steady... I believe this will be enough to win my race.
How do information communication consultants and Atkins make a difference?
Information communications and security consultants within Atkins make a difference by providing a more holistic Atkins delivery model to our clients by influencing and delivering innovative and integrated technology to meet their current and future requirements, both for their customers and in preparation for society in general.
How would you describe the culture at Atkins?
Irrespective of where I have worked in Atkins, whether it be on secondment to a project team in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait or Reading, or whether I have worked within a team based in Bristol, Epsom or Dubai, the culture is consistent throughout which allows for seamless transition. Our collective values of outstanding people who are innovative, integrated and client-centric with professional integrity provide the platform for a wonderful culture which in turn allows me to love my job. The beauty of loving your job is that you never have to go to work.