In a bid to encourage and inspire students to consider a career in engineering, all week we will be chatting with some of our youngest talent across the practice, to get an insight into how they decided upon this career path.
Today meet Jesse, a building services technical apprentice who joined BDP in 2018.
How long have you been in the role?
I have been a building services technical apprentice since August 2018. I’m still learning but I have really enjoyed the projects I’ve worked on to date.
Was this always your goal?
I always wanted to be an engineer as the ability to use manual skills, planning, design and real mechanical knowhow was appealing to me. Understanding and finding the right route into engineering has been a challenge but I’m happy to be working in the field, learning and earning as I complete my apprenticeship.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on two projects; the first is Task Order 10 (QE2) where my main role is to assist in drawing the mechanical building services design into Revit. The second I am working on is a leisure project, where I have a bit more involvement in the mechanical calculations of the building as well as drawing the mechanical building services design into Revit.
Are there any projects you've seen that you wish you had worked on?
I wish I could have worked on The Shard. It’s such an iconic building and the idea of designing services for such a tall structure is mind-blowing. It would definitely have been a challenge but I’m sure it would have been the best experience.
How do you collaborate with other professionals in the industry?
At the moment we use Microsoft Teams calls to collaborate with peers and contractors across projects. But pre-pandemic, design team meetings were held regularly to discuss design proposals and issues and find resolutions. It’s fascinating to be in a room with so many dedicated and intelligent engineers and to be able to contribute to future designs. When you see your ideas implemented, it is such a great feeling!
What does creativity mean for you, and how do you apply this to your day job?
Creativity is required every day in my line of work. It’s not so much a skill as a general requirement. Being creative is what allows you to find solutions to design problems and that is 90% of what being a building services engineer is about.
What's been your best day in the job?
My best day was when The Launchpad project was issued for Stage 4, as it was the first project that I had been on from the start and I was able to see each design stage completed. Seeing an entire project come together was very rewarding.
Tell us a little more about your journey to becoming an engineer...
I attended a school trip to the Olympic Park in Stratford in 2012 prior to the Olympics and was given a presentation by the main contractor, which then majorly sparked my interest in engineering. I then went on to complete a BTEC Level 3 engineering course at college and subsequently was accepted onto the BDP apprenticeship scheme.
Thinking back to your school days, if you knew then what you know now, would you still choose this career path?
I think that the route I chose into engineering has put me on a path to a fun, rewarding and successful career. With every project, I learn more and become a better engineer. The profession is constantly evolving and as long as I stay in touch with the industry, and continue to understand the best and most innovative technologies, I will continue to enjoy my career and be a success.
What's the one thing an engineer can't live without?
It’s a cliché but an engineer always needs a mobile phone. Mobiles have so many uses to help us in so many different scenarios. Of course the calculator and calendars are crucial and so important but now there are so many useful apps that help in the design process of any project. I always have my mobile close to hand.
What advice would you give to other young people considering this as a career?
I think it is a very viable career path as I believe building services design engineers will always be needed, and it can lead to a very successful and long career.
Do you have any other skills/hobbies outside of work that give you an advantage in this industry?
I took an engineering course at college where I used various CAD programmes which I believe have helped me pick up the new programmes whilst working at BDP much quicker than if I did not have these experiences.