STEM Job of the Month - Design Engineer

December 20, 2018

 

1. Name and position title

 

Katie Ferguson/Design Engineer (Civil Engineering Department)

 

2. How would you explain your job to people not from your industry? And how does it fit within Springfield’s bigger picture?

 

I am responsible for the design of roads, drainage and associated infrastructure across my allocated developments which are managed from our Elgin Office.  I am responsible for obtaining all approvals required from the relevant Local Authorities and Statutory bodies before managing the design throughout the build process (dealing with any site queries etc.) and finally managing the process of adoption and vesting.  Springfield develop a wide range of sites with both private and affordable housing on offer which all must have roads to provide access and egress, services and drainage for each property.  A Design Engineers role is therefore vital in providing the services needed to offer a new build property.

 

3. What makes it exciting working in your industry overall?

 

The problem-solving aspect of the job and design as a whole is what keeps it exciting.  When working with different areas of topography the constraints and opportunities offered by each site vary significantly and result in each design changing from the previous.  The opportunity to identify new design options and solutions to an ever changing environment (changing legislations, specifications and processes) allows for a diverse and exciting role. 

 

4. What do you enjoy most about your role? 

 

The design aspect of my role is definitely my favourite.  Analysing an empty area of land and visualising the finished project to then building the models electronically and finally watching it come to life on the land is a very exciting process to be involved in.  

 

5. How do you think other people see your strengths and your contribution at work overall? What qualities might you be known for?

 

I would say my ability to work with the variety of software we are required to use is where my teammates would look to me for assistance/what I would be known for.  I am also the team quality champion so I assist in anything quality related that the team are unsure on.

 

6. What's a big challenge for you right now, or perhaps one for your industry?

 

Drainage, services, roads and levels all intertwine to become one design and a change to one area can affect the rest, it is essential to be careful not to significantly increase costs in one aspect whilst trying to reduce it in the other.  However, pulling all of this together to get the desired design is the most satisfying aspect of the job.

 

Green infrastructure (above ground storage and treatment of surface water) is quickly becoming widely favoured and trying to find suitable and cost-effective solutions is a challenging aspect of design.

 

Drainage, services, roads and levels all intertwine to become one design and a change to one area can affect the rest, it is essential to be careful not to significantly increase costs in one aspect whilst trying to reduce it in the other.  However, pulling all of this together to get the desired design is the most satisfying aspect of the job.

 

7. What outside interests might you have? 

 

I attended gym classes and often go to the gym on my own for different workouts 3-4 times a week, I love the feeling of having complete a successful and beneficial work out!  I like to keep up with what is going on in UK politics and can get lost reading endless articles.  Mostly I enjoy socialising/spending time with my partner, friends and family!

 

8. How would you describe yourself in three words?

 

Driven, conscientious and enthusiastic

 

 

 

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t: 01343 546000

e: sarah.baxter.moray@uhi.ac.uk

e: aimee.stephen.moray@uhi.ac.uk 

a: Moray College UHI  

   Moray Street 

   Elgin

   IV30 1JJ

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