14 Jun Kieren Couch, Assistant Project Manager (Civil Engineering) – Career Story
Kieren Couch, Assistant Project Manager (Civil Engineering) shares his career story:
What is your background and how did you get into Engineering & Construction?
At 16, I left school and joined the construction industry, working with a local roofing contractor before moving into general building.
At 18, I embraced the opportunity to enter the Civil Engineering and Highway Construction sector through the apprenticeship route, which provided me with the opportunity to learn and earn. During the next 3 years, I discovered my passion for Civil Engineering!
On completion of the apprenticeship, I was fortunate to continue my academic studies at the University of Plymouth, whilst developing my knowledge and experience in the workplace. This allowed me to gain an understanding of engineering principles whilst actively leading on construction infrastructure projects.
I left my role as Construction Manager in 2017 and joined WWA as a Civils Project Manager, working on the St Erth Multi-Modal Hub infrastructure project for Cornwall Council.
Tell us what the day job looks like?
That’s the beauty of working in the Civil Engineering sector, you rarely experience the same day twice.
Problem-solving is a fundamental skill of Project Management along with the ability to organise and communicate effectively.
What is your involvement in the Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE)?
I got involved with the ICE through my local Truro city club, which provides free access to interesting civil engineering lectures. These presentations assisted greatly with my professional development. It also provided me with the opportunity to network with a range of people in the industry, some you would not normally have access to, as a trainee.
Through attending these events I was made aware of an opportunity to become one of the ICE’s ‘future leaders. I was successful in joining this programme through a competitive selection process. As an ICE Future Leader, I was mentored by the president of the ICE and travelled with him around the UK meeting with senior engineering professionals, gaining further insight into the civil engineering industry.
In 2014 I passed my first professional review, becoming a member of the Institution and received the accolade of ‘Technician of the Year’.
Following this, I joined the ICE South West Committee and in 2015 I was voted in as Chairman, a position I held for 2 years. During this time, I represented over 6000 members ensuring that the region had a strong voice at ICE Headquarters.
Why would you recommend a career in construction/engineering to others?
I would recommend a career in the civil engineering and construction industry as you will never be bored, or feel that what you do is mundane – you do make a difference!
The opportunities are far reaching and for those willing to work hard, there are fantastic rewards.
What are your aspirations for the future?
To contact WWA regarding Civil Engineering and Infrastructure Projects please click here.