UKCW 2018

NEC BIRMINGHAM   09-11 OCTOBER 2018

Annabel Davis

Annabel Davis

Section Engineer (UK), Costain Group

My adventure into the construction industry did not start at school level, having neglected to study physics, but instead following my final year of school when I realised I had both an aptitude and liking for mathematics and problem solving.

I applied to study a 5 year combined degree in engineering and commerce to greater spread the engineering subjects across university semesters. During my studies, I spent 6 months studying internationally at Lund University, Sweden.

Upon graduation, I decided I wasn’t interested in an office job so I pursued a career in the construction industry. I left the big smoke to chase big jobs and big machines. My first posting was a drive-in-drive-out job duplicating a rail line while living in a beautiful country pub. Following this, I was relocated to a picturesque coastal town, with plenty of sun and surfing, to build a dual carriageway highway. My third and favourite job to date was a fly-in-fly out project whereby I would fly to the remote site to work for 10 days straight, then fly home for 4 days break. This job was the dream with big machines, big money, big responsibility and most importantly a lot of fun. With 5 years service at my company and 3 projects under my belt, I was granted 12 months unpaid leave to travel the world before returning to my role on a new job.

There’s no denying that the construction industry is an incredibly rewarding career with tangible results. There is a great sense of achievement to be able to drive on a road, for example, that you were a key player in constructing. It also provides you with a readily transferable skill set that can be used across countries and industries. So far, I have worked in the construction industry in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

After 7 years of industry experience, I developed a passion for improving systems and processes in an industry with so much potential for betterment. Essentially, I want to reinvent the wheel. There are so many opportunities within construction to create and be creative depending on your strengths and passions. As of July 2018, I have taken a sabbatical from construction to explore the software industry and how it can improve our work life balance by automating repetitive processes that often lead to long and tiresome days in construction, especially as a young engineer.

 

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