Engineering, procurement and construction manager
Meet Stephen, EPC manager
What did you do before you joined Gatwick Airport Limited? Despite my youthful looks (if only) I’m actually a chartered civil engineer with 25 years’ experience in the delivery of capital projects. My last role was leading an office of 70 engineers working on a 5 year design and build joint venture. As a result of the recession many sectors served by the construction industry have significantly reduced investment in infrastructure projects. Despite the tough economic climate Gatwick continues to promote large and exciting schemes, which is attractive to anyone with a project delivery background. The proximity to home is also good, enabling me to cycle to work once a week – if you see a flash of yellow lycra on the North Perimeter Road it’s probably me!
What do you like best about your job? I like working in collaboration with other people to successfully deliver a project. The facilities which we deliver at Gatwick have a positive impact on the lives of millions of people and I find this very rewarding. My project management expertise is a core skill required by the role and helps me to deliver projects to time, cost and quality expectations (I’m currently working on a major re-configuration of Pier 5). One particular area of interest is the process of establishing the right culture and behavioural attitudes which enable colleagues to develop and perform at their best. There’s lots of activity in this area at Gatwick at the moment and I hope I’ve got relevant experience to help inform the debate. I recently joined the internal assessor team helping to prepare the Company for accreditation to the Investors in People standard and believe that all Gatwick employees will benefit from the success of this initiative.
What’s a typical day for you? Very busy, the working day flies by! What I can say is that whatever I plan to do at the start of each day has usually changed by 9am! Delivery of a successful project requires engagement with many people and I find that the most effective way to do this is face to face. This means convening meetings with people representing a wide variety of interests including internal stakeholders across the Business, external stakeholders, GAL delivery team members and external consultants/contractors. Communicating progress is a key part of the job so I’ve usually got at least one presentation or report on the go at any point in time.
What would you say to someone thinking about joining Gatwick Airport Limited? I’d give them the same advice that our development director gave me on my first day, “Roll your sleeves up!”