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 Richard, one of our Senior Civil Designers who has recently celebrated his ten-year anniversary at BRS, to chat a bit more about his journey from growing up in Samoa to becoming a Civil Designer, and how he’s seen BRS grow over the past decade.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a Civil Designer?
I was born in Samoa and no way did I think I would be a Civil Designer with the lack opportunities back in the days growing up. Our old house floor level was lower than the external levels, and when it rained heavily water used to come into the house and my mum used to wake me up every time (no matter what time of the night it was) to help dig a trench to divert water away from the entering the house.
I was around 8 or 9 years old back then, and it was satisfying when I didn’t have to wake up again because I had mapped out where things were falling and created a diversion mound to solve this problem, which meant I could sleep without getting up.
I’ve always been a person who loves solving problems and I suppose this led to me doing what I’m doing now. I was lucky enough in 1995 to get a scholarship for 3 years to study a civil engineering course in Launceston in Tasmania via an AusAID program and am forever thankful for that opportunity.
Walk us through a typical day in your working life. How do you usually start your workday and what are the most enjoyable parts of your day?
I always start the day with a caffeine hit with the coffee club, and then plan the day out by tackling the project planning and timing for the week. The work colleagues you surround yourself with make an enormous difference to how you function each day with work and how easy or hard the day can be. I am incredibly lucky that the team we have is always there to assist from simple things, to helping meet deadlines, and having a laugh to brighten the day. Nothing is ever difficult.
What is it like being part of Barker Ryan Stewart’s engineering team? Are there any stand-out projects that you have enjoyed working on?
Being part of the BRS engineering team has been special, I have worked with some amazing Engineers and Designers. Under the team cloud we do not look at each other with the titles we hold, but we combine our skills, knowledge, and experience to solve problems and challenges that we face with each project we work on. I have enjoyed working on every project that has come my way, from single dwellings to large residential subdivision and commercial/industrial projects.
Having been part of the Barker Ryan Stewart team for the past decade, in what ways have you seen the company grow?
BRS has grown a lot since I first started back in 2012, we have new members come on board every year and somehow management always seems to get people that fit straight into the company culture and that has been the most amazing thing as it can be very difficult to maintain.
What’s been your favourite memory at Barker Ryan Stewart over the past ten years?
The annual conference is always a standout and so are the BRS social events held throughout the years, as we get to relax and get to know the working BRS family from our other offices.
Finally, what advice do you have for someone looking to become a Civil Designer?
Simply go for it, it’s a great career. Remember that when you start working as a Designer, don’t be limited to the guidelines current engineering standards and council standards have in place. You can challenge the guidelines if the result is better than what it is trying to achieve. Most young Engineers and Designers think it’s the bible, but in my experience, it’s not. Do your part to make the next guideline an improved one.
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.