Chris Clark, Civil Engineer – Area Manager – Local Roads – Central from Wiltshire Council.
We asked Chris about his background and how he got to where he is now.
“I have worked in the industry since 1988, this covers time at Wiltshire Council, Parkman and time at Ringway. I most recently came back to the Council in 2011. When I left school I was interested in working in construction and started as a trainee site manager, this allowed me to learn on the job and do a day release to Trowbridge Technical College – much like an apprenticeship these days. I also worked in London doing materials testing, I later joined Wiltshire Council in 1988 as a trainee technician within the Planning and Highways team.”
We wanted to find out what Chris’s job involved on a daily basis and what he found to be the most interesting parts of this role?
“Most of my time is based in the office these days, as I manage staff and projects, I supervise junior staff who are on the ground, from time to time I am called out to site! I must keep up to date with new policy and legislation and make sure the team are aware of this. I think the best part of being in this line of work is being able see material differences due to the decisions you have made. Having worked in Wiltshire for a number of years it is always pleasant to come across sites that you have contributed to when you are travelling around the county. Seeing the material differences due to the input that you have had with projects is always good. Working in the maintenance field it means that the majority of the jobs that I work on can be quite small but the positive impact that can be delivered by the installation or replacement of something such as small section of drainage can be massive compared to the scale of the actual works.”
Lastly, we asked Chris what he would say to future Civil Engineers and if there were any myths he wanted to dispel?
“I would say if you are interested in engineering don’t let any preconceived notions hold you back, if you have the right attitude you can go far. There are constantly lots of opportunities to develop. The myth that it is a male dominated industry is definitely disappearing, over my time I have seen more females enter the industry and rise through to senior roles, so times are changing.”