Civil Engineering

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Site Engineer

Site Engineer

Vincent Revell, Brian Perry Civil

Earning: Starting salary around $55,000
In a nutshell: Planning construction activities, ordering supplies and ensuring quality on site.
Why? “The project I’m on at the moment will provide clean drinking water to more than 20% of Aucklanders.”

Pathway King’s College, Year 12: Maths, English, French, Physics, Calculus (Cambridge exams)
University of Auckland: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

“I have always been quite practical and initially wanted to be a builder or a farmer,” says Vincent Revell. “I also enjoy understanding how things work, so when my Dad suggested engineering, I went with it.”

A class trip in Year 11 to a roading construction site was also an influence on Vincent’s choice of career. “I was really taken by the idea of being involved in projects which everyday people use.”

He’s now working as a site engineer for Brian Perry Civil on a project to double the output of the Waikato water treatment plant which supplies clean drinking water to Auckland’s ever expanding population.

“It’s exciting because the project is on a tight budget and deadline, and it’s for a facility that supplies 20% of Auckland’s water but most people don’t even it know exists.”

“Basically what we are tasked with is turning a set of drawings into a reality,” Vincent says. “What I have to do each day is to plan ahead the work which needs to be done in order to get there.”

His work involves understanding what is specified in the drawings, checking any discrepancies with the design engineers, and communicating what needs to be done to the other workers on site. “How well you do your job can really influence how the whole project goes,” he says.

“I need to study the drawings 2-3 weeks ahead of time to ensure that the building team has all the materials they need to make it happen. Sticking to the budget is important and if I we don’t plan the job right we end up with workers and machinery at a standstill which becomes expensive very quickly!”

Vincent says that his work has a lot of variety and gives him opportunities to be creative. “Every day there are construction issues which have to be solved. There isn’t always a right or wrong way of doing something so you can come up with your own ideas.”

He thinks that his job would suit practical people who are good at solving problems, and enjoy being outside and getting their hands dirty. And he says that one of the advantages of a career in engineering is that it’s very versatile. “Companies like to employ engineers because they know they are people who can think and solve problems,” he says. “And it’s a great base for going into business management.”

Posted December 2011