An Insight from John F Hunt’s Graduate Site Engineer – Amir Khan

27th June 2022

Before joining John F Hunt in early May of 2022 as a Graduate Engineer I had previously worked for a specialist steel contractor, LA Metalworks, who was responsible for the structural steelwork package on the Grain House project. John F Hunt was appointed as the demolition/principal contractor for the enabling works and was tasked to undertake a significant ‘cut & carve’ demolition and complex temporary works scheme. Whilst working as a Design Coordinator, I was involved in managing the design, fabrication and logistics to install approximately 600t of steel for the six-storey frame building.

As the project neared completion and the main structural frame of the building was installed, my previous company, unfortunately, ceased trading. Considering the bad news, Chartered Engineer and Project Director Irfan Quraishi kept in contact with me and reassured me that the hard work and effort I displayed on this project will not go unnoticed. I was soon in contact with the John F Hunt team and they offered me a position to join the site team to get the project over the finish line.

 I was grateful for the opportunity to join John F Hunt to witness the completion of the enabling works on Grain House. Once the remaining design items were closed out along with the last few snagging items and secondary steelwork was installed, I shifted my attention onto my Graduate Engineer Role.

When I initially joined John F Hunt, I was assigned a role as a Graduate Design Engineer, after some time within the new role it was mutually agreed that I explore a role better suited to me. Having spoken to management and directors, the team were happy for me to adjust my role from a Graduate Design Engineer to Graduate Site Engineer.

I was provided with two options, either the RC Frame/Civils projects or the Demolition Projects. The team explained both sides of the construction and demolition business to me in detail and outlined what my job responsibilities will be. Along with explaining my job responsibilities they also described what my career progression would look like with John F Hunt in the future. The team were more than happy to give me ample time to make my decision and having had time to think about it I decided to take the RC/Civils route.

I picked this route as I enjoy having an understanding of coordinating between design and installation on-site. It will allow me to learn and apply construction methods. The change in role plays to my strength from the knowledge & experience I obtained from my previous role.

The type of activities I will be responsible for and carrying out on a day to day basis make me passionate & excited for my future in this role. For example:

  • Setting out levelling & surveying the site
  • Quality assurance, temporary works checks
  • Checking all materials used & work performed are as specification
  • Liaising consultants, subcontractors, supervisors, planners & general workforce
  • Interpreting architect & structural drawings
  • Supporting senior site engineer with daily site operations

During my first month at John F Hunt, Chartered Engineer and Project Manager Jamie Fitzpatrick and Irfan set up a chartership/Q&A session with Malcolm Peake (Institution Civil Engineers Membership Development Officer), to provide information on chartership routes and a professional review at the 1 Liverpool Street project. With free afternoon tea and pizza for lunch, there were no complaints from me!

Several engineers from the John F Hunt team attended the session to learn about development plans to become chartered members of ICE. Malcolm was more than happy to answer any questions our engineers had about their specific chartership routes. The meeting was informative in terms of what steps I will need to take to become an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and hopefully a Charted Engineer (CEng).

Malcolm also advised on what we will need to include in our submission of the 5,000-word report, along with how to prepare for the professional review interview/presentation.

This meeting has allowed me to plan my short/long-term goals on my route to chartership. Concluding from the meeting, Technical Director – Davinder Reehal offered his help and advice in our challenge to progress through ICE membership, along with discussing what the appropriate next steps are. His encouraging words provided a boost of confidence to all the engineers who are considering joining the ICE.

Irfan & Jamie also offered their support for engineers who look to have a mentor from John F Hunt, by enrolling in the John F Hunt training scheme. The support and advice provided within the company, encourage all engineers to be professionally competent and open to career progression.

I’m excited about my future at John F Hunt and to see first-hand the upcoming projects I will be involved with. I look forward to being exposed to all types of works and activities that an engineer will encounter on their day-to-day job.

I cannot wait to develop my knowledge and gain professional experience from both theoretical and practical scenarios, whilst working towards and achieving a Chartered Engineer status.

A lot of hard work and dedication, coupled with working at John F Hunt, will position me in the best possible place to achieve my personal & career aspirations!

-Amir Khan