Mark, Alex and Gavin – Meet the Project Managers in our Asset Management Team

Our asset management experts deliver solutions across the full project lifecycle. From fire consultancy to hazardous materials to building surveying, they can be called upon to individually deliver one-off requirements or, to form multi-disciplinary teams offering end-to-end solutions.

Working in our asset management team can therefore be hugely varied and rewarding. Here we talk to Gavin May, Alex McDonald and Mark Laidler who are project managers within our asset management business to understand more.

What does your day to day job role involve?

Gavin: I’m working directly with key clients getting involved in bidding for tenders and commercial projects as well as any overarching project management and governance within across the team

Alex: I am a project manager within the fire safety team. I currently project manage all of our government contract fire safety projects from fire consultancy to fire engineering. Anything from a single fire strategy to a £1M Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) worldwide inspection programme. My time is spent liaising with clients, managing contractors, scheduling etc.

Mark: My time is split between delivery of client work where I’m issuing quotes, making sure we’re tracking KPIs across our projects and delivering expected outputs plus, non-client work such as financial reporting.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

 Alex: Working with likeminded and supportive peers in the Fire Safety team. I have also really enjoyed building client relationships and having reach to a variety of different projects and clients – that’s one of the positives of working for a company with such a global reach.

Mark: I love the variation of my work. I could have a phone call about an asbestos survey, then 30 seconds later I’m discussing a laser scan in Mongolia. Just this morning I had one conversation about a radar base in Norfolk, then straight into another chat about doing work in Stockholm. The work is never boring.

What has been your most interesting project to work on through your Tetra Tech career?

Gavin: Probably my ongoing work with HMRC. I’ve been working with them for three years striving to understand their operations, challenges and needs. We are now proactively making recommendations to help them manage their assets and estates. One recent piece of work we were involved with was ensuring they met the World Health Organisation (WHO) for good indoor ventilation in the context of COVID-19’. Going forward well be looking at how we support their net zero targets.

Alex: By far, it is our FCDO Worldwide Inspection Programme, where we provide fire consultancy and deploy our assessors to undertake fire risk assessments of British Embassies and their estates, across the world. The project involves travel to very remote islands, some of which are in conflict zones which proved challenging at times, especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic. There were rapid changes in travel during the pandemic which tested our resilience as a team as we navigated the changes to still achieve the programme. It is a very interesting and unique project.

Mark: I had a project a while ago where we flew a drone over a nuclear licensed site as part of a survey of a pipe bridge. At the time, we were the first company to do this. it was a huge accomplishment for both Tetra Tech and our client, enabling the client to have an asset surveyed for the 1st time since construction.

How has Tetra Tech supported you in your career?

Gavin: I have recently done two Association of Project Management (APM) training courses which have opened up opportunities for me to experience many different areas of our business, grow my project management skills as well as achieve my chartership status. It truly feels like the company wants you to do well. Not just for the business, but also for you as an individual.

Alex: Tetra Tech has covered the cost of training courses for me including the company wide Project management courses PM1 & PM2 as well as APM PFQ and PMQ which has helped in improving my professional skillset. Furthermore, my Association for Project Management (APM) membership fees are covered by the company. I attend fortnightly, a project management profession lunch and learn session which cover APM competencies and real world projects, providing open discussion and learning opportunities.

Mark: I was on a graduate training programme when I first started working for Tetra Tech which really helped me fast track my career and learn all about the company. Since then, I have competed multiple project management courses and get involved in CPD pretty much fortnightly.  There are so many different things going on in the business and interesting people who I can learn form to continue my learning.

Why would you recommend Tetra Tech to others?

Gavin: Yes I would, as a business they encourage and invest into training and development for us. There is a good support structure in place to support everyone’s wellbeing.

Alex: There is a clear career pathway which enables you to see the scope for growth within the company. There are also many dedicated Diversity, Equity & inclusion (DEI) groups across the business that drive racial, disability and gender diversity within the company. Not to mention the mentoring programme and Professional Women’s network to name a few!

Mark: If you want to join somewhere that is always growing and looking for new ventures, then I can’t think of anywhere more suited.

Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you first started at Tetra Tech?

Gavin: Get involved as much as you can. You might have weeks where you’re extremely busy and they can feel long, but in these environments, you can learn so much. It really is true that you make your own opportunities, so to get out there and get engaged will allow yourself to grow.

Alex: To not be afraid of putting yourself forward and getting involved. For me, starting at such a large and established company was intimidating at first but I have soon come to realise that putting myself forward and getting involved is where I have had the most personal growth and achievement.

Mark: Say yes to every opportunity, embrace change and don’t be hesitant or reluctant to get involved in something new.

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