Associate Director

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Sam E

00:00:04 My name is Sam E, and my job title is an Associate Director. I manage the delivery of a project. I will be looking after a number of people working across a number of different disciplines, and I have a hand in sort of the training and mentoring of students and graduates, as they come through and work with us from University, on a gap year, to graduates as they qualify and join the company.

00:00:34 I’m currently working on the design of a new underground station at Tottenham Court Road. The design will be to replace the existing small ticket hall concourse, with a structure about five or six times the plan area of the current station. And my role on the project is I’m design managing the whole process, so I’m looking after the various disciplines associated with such a project. From the civil and structural engineering, through to the mechanical engineers, the architectural input, the pedestrian and traffic flow modelling above the station. The number of people involved in delivering such a project, and in such a tight timescale, as well, as we’ve been set to do, has been a challenge from Day One.

00:01:19 My first day on my first job was a nerve-wracking experience. I had a forty-five minute drive to get to my place of work, and it was situated in the middle of fantastic grounds out in the countryside. They had a really nice location. So you’d park your car and you’d come into reception, and the first thing sort of suddenly realise now it dawns on you – this is it, I’m now going to start putting into practice what I’ve actually been studying, and what my degree and my qualification gave me. And I remember sort of after two hours-worth of induction and meeting people, I thought I don’t remember anyone’s names here today. But here we go, this is it, I’ll start looking at some of the design work. But that’s about what I sort of recall from the first day.

00:02:08 About five or six years ago, I went to work for Halcrow down in Exeter. And I was living there away from home for a whole year. I stumbled across a volleyball club that were playing in the evenings, and as I didn’t know many people I sort of got – joined in there, and enjoyed that aspect of the sort of the game and socialising. So when I came back to London I decided to grab a few friends, hire a hall, start up a volleyball club and we’ve now been going about those five years, six years nearly, and the club has about 60 or 70 members, and we play in local leagues, local divisions, have won many trophies and we’re sort of now recognised as one of the big clubs in London.

00:02:56 The best thing about the job that I’m doing now and engineering, and having gone into engineering, for me, has been actually seeing my day to day work actually get built. So since joining Halcrow, about ten years ago, I’ve now worked on something of the order of 15 to 20 main projects. Nearly every single one of those, I can now go out and actually walk over, walk under, drive past. And that’s sort of the inspiration to keep me going, and want me to carry on working in this kind of environment, in this kind of field. I bore my friends by keep telling them and pointing out every time we go somewhere, I’ve done a bit of work on here, and I’ve done a bit of work on there. So that’s sort of my inspiration for the – for doing engineering, and doing the current job that I’m doing.


Sam E is an Associate Director at engineering company Halcrow. He is in charge of building the new Tottenham Court Road tube station. Over 10 years he has worked on 20 projects, he says “I can now go out and actually walk over, walk under, drive past. And that’s sort of the inspiration to keep me going.”

More information about Civil engineers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

90%  male 
10%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Civil engineers undertake research and design, direct construction and manage the operation and maintenance of civil and mining engineering structures.
Civil engineers usually possess an accredited three or four-year degree in civil engineering or engineering science or an accredited Higher National Diploma or Certificate. The status of ‘incorporated engineer’ is obtained upon the completion of further training at work and associate membership of a chartered engineering institution. The status of ‘chartered engineer’ is achieved through the completion of postgraduate training and full membership of a chartered engineering institution.
  • Undertakes research and advises on soil mechanics, concrete technology, hydraulics, water and waste water treatment processes and other civil engineering matters;
  • Determines and specifies construction methods, materials, quality and safety standards and ensures that equipment operation and maintenance comply with design specifications;
  • Designs foundations and earthworks;
  • Designs structures such as roads, dams, bridges, railways, hydraulic systems, sewerage systems, industrial and other buildings and plans the layout of tunnels, wells and construction shafts;
  • Organises and plans projects, arranges work schedules, carries out inspection work and plans maintenance control;
  • Organises and establishes control systems to monitor operational efficiency and performance of materials and systems.
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