We’re long overdue for an update and I think I’m finally getting my head above water here. I’m not sure how long it will last but I’ve been so busy over the past 3 weeks that I haven’t even managed to keep a regular dog-walking schedule, much less get on the Interweb.
The long and short of my new job is that I’m working for Atkins. For those that don’t know, Atkins is the largest Engineering practice in the UK and around 11th in the world. So my career has moved from smaller, independently owned, companies to the bigger, publicly traded, multi-disciplinary firms.
Needless to say, things are different! Just to put it in terms of day-to-day, I’m currently sitting on the 27th floor looking south over London. I’m sitting in a group of Engineers / Technicians working on surface water drainage for the Olympics. Traditionally, I would be the only guy discussing drainage in an office. Now, everywhere I turn I’m surrounded by conversations, computer screens and drawings covered in drainage. One of my directors called our area a “swamp”!
Lately I’ve been split between three offices: Epsom in Surrey, Euston in London and Canary Wharf in London. Canary Wharf is an interesting place. The offices are very nice and there’s access from the station all the way to the basement of my building through the massive low-level shopping plaza. I can understand why it’s a prime destination for business. The work in Canary Wharf has been some bits and pieces on Crossrail. When I get my head around storm drainage for Crossrail I’m going to definitely do a post about it.
The most interesting part of working on projects like Crossrail and the Olympics is that I am having difficulty working out who is paying for my work. I know where the money is coming from, but how it gets to Atkins is a mystery to me! This is partly because the work is all mega-urgent so I’ve had to just stick my nose down and get on with it rather than spending (wasting?) time on long introductions to the project. But as things settle down around here I’ve started to pay close attention to the current political discussions about public spending and the future of major infrastructure projects, and I’m not sure how much I like being relevant! Hopefully things will continue on the way they are now, keeping goliath companies like Atkins in good stead and able to employ many thousands of engineers!