I enjoyed studying engineering in college - it was challenging and fun. I had no grand plan for my career but if the hours I spent in the library had taught me anything it was that I wanted to work outdoors.
After I qualified, I joined the construction division of an engineering consultancy in South Africa and spent the next three years working as an assistant resident engineer on sites across the country.
The job came with a high degree of responsibility and the work, which involved road resurfacing, recycling and widening, chip-and-spray road surfacing and slope stabilization, as well as minor concrete works, was enjoyable.
Working on site came came with its own challenges - from the safety issues associated with working adjacent to live traffic, to labour disputes, to simple things like sunburn. But in every challenge, there was an opportunity to learn and improve, and between the great banter and travel opportunities, it was a wonderful first job.
My time on site helped me to figure out what I wanted from my career, and when the opportunity arose, I took a job in a design office, working as a design engineer on roads and highways.
I took an instant liking to geometric road design and, as luck would have it, I was assigned to a range of major projects, including the conceptual to detailed design of a four-level systems interchange outside Cape Town.
Whilst I was thoroughly enjoying my projects in South Africa, I always knew my long-term future lay abroad. I set my sights on Ireland, with its breath-taking scenery, friendly people, mild weather and fast-growing infrastructure needs.
The big move was made easy when I was offered a role with Roughan & O'Donovan (ROD) - a vibrant, growing company with a proven track record of competently handling complex and large-scale projects.
My knowledge of road design and experience in using the latest design software packages on projects in Cape Town has been put to good use at ROD, where I am currently working on another great project, the A6 Dungiven to Drumahoe Dualling scheme in Northern Ireland.
Looking back on my career to date, I’m grateful for the opportunities I have been given to pursue my interests and for the support and guidance of my managers and mentors.
I am enjoying improving my technical knowledge of road design and, with the myriad software packages available to designers to produce anything from standard drawings to 3D visualization fly-throughs, there is always something new to learn.