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A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer at Barker Ryan Stewart: Nick Axiak

At Barker Ryan Stewart, we are proud to have a highly motivated and passionate team that works together to create communities and deliver infrastructure.

Civil Engineer

In our ‘day in the life of’ blog series, we aim to showcase the work of our talented team and help you get to know the faces behind our projects a little bit better. This month we sat down with Nick, one of our Civil Engineers, to chat a bit more about the most enjoyable aspect of his role in our certification team, and what surprised him most about the engineering profession.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what attracted you to becoming an Engineer?

I spent most of childhood doing whatever I could outside. At the age of 2, my parents found me at the top of a two-story extension ladder, so I guess I was born with a natural curiosity for construction. As I got older, I would spend afternoons and weekends building with wood and metal, or out gardening and landscaping. At school I enjoyed math and science and enjoyed working on challenges and problem solving. By year 7 I knew I wanted to become an Engineer. For me, my biggest career decision was what kind of Engineer was I going to be. I enjoy getting mud on my boots, so civil works was the obvious answer.

What does a typical day in your working life look like?

My typical day is usually a balance of office work and time on site. During the planning phase of projects, I assess engineering and landscape drawings, and ensure developments adhere to the conditions required in Council’s Development Consent, Transport for NSW Works Authorisation Deed (WAD) and all relevant specifications. During the execution phase of the project, I conduct compliance inspections to ensure works have been completed in accordance with approved plans and relevant specifications. Additionally, parts of my day are spent collaborating with fellow peers at BRS and providing instruction and guidance to contractors and clients to help clarify any uncertainties. Recently I have been taking on a more substantial role in project management at BRS – given my previous experience in the role.

What are some of the projects you have enjoyed working on the most at Barker Ryan Stewart?

Two projects that have stood out recently have been the State Significant Development Moorebank Logistics Park and the Redbank Masterplan in North Richmond. Both projects have given me exposure to different types of development and have presented different challenges to overcome. It is enjoyable working with the clients from both projects, and I have developed relationships that will extend beyond the duration of the project.

What do you like most about your role and working at Barker Ryan Stewart?

I enjoy the flexibility of my role and the opportunity to be a part of projects that provide new challenges and experiences. I constantly have support whenever working on something new, and collaborate with peers from the Sydney, Central Coast, Hunter, and South-East Queensland offices. It’s easy to make friends in the company and is reflective of the organisation’s horizonal structure.

What is something that surprised you about being an Engineer?

For a profession that is centred around clearly defined specifications, measurements, and the analysis of ‘things’, being an engineer is very people-based. It involves a great deal of collaboration and teamwork, as well as solving problems that aim to satisfy both contractors and developers. The vast array of projects, experiences, and people that you work with make every day different and interesting. It’s hard to switch off at 5pm when you enjoy what you do.   

What would be your advice to anyone looking to become an Engineer?

Engineering is a highly rewarding career path. There are opportunities for site-based work, office careers or anywhere in between. It is one of the oldest professions in human history and has stuck around for good reason. There are so many projects, roles, and responsibilities you can take on within engineering that it’s easy to find a fit for whatever you enjoy.

Want to get to know our team a bit better?

Check out our other ‘day in the life of’ blogs to learn more about our team.

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