Introducing our Glasgow Directors: Iain McIntyre
Last month we announced the exciting news that we had launched our Glasgow studio. This gives us a fantastic presence in Scotland and our 11-strong team are already working on some exciting projects. The Studio is led by Directors, Iain McIntyre and Isla Jackson. We thought it would be good to find out a bit more about them. To get us underway, Iain McIntyre tells us a bit more about himself;
Iain, it’s great to have you on the team! Tell us a bit about yourself…
Although I have spent the majority of my career working in building design, I’m actually a Chartered Civil Engineer and Environmentalist. My project experience is spread across various property sectors, including commercial, retail, education, healthcare, residential, industrial, airports, industrial, masterplanning and infrastructure. Before joining Civic, I worked initially as a graduate with Glasgow City Council, then as a senior engineer with Crouch Hogg Waterman. After the merger with Halcrow Group in 1997, I spent 15 years as a director developing, shaping and managing a building structures team.
What are the most critical problems faced by the construction industry?
I think the most critical problems haven’t really changed since the start of my career. Primarily political uncertainty and short term political decisions, which can lead to adverse economic conditions resulting in a reduction in both public sector infrastructure spending and private sector investment. I have worked through 3 or 4 recessions in my career with the most recent being by far the worst. Economic boom and bust cycles are particularly damaging to the construction industry; with each downturn we lose critical skills and capability to other industries and professions, leading to labour and skills shortages when the up-cycle returns.
What do you hope the Glasgow studio will bring to Civic Engineers?
We will bring more strength and depth in terms of the company’s overall skill set. Our team have additional professional and technical skills, including SER accreditation, which is critical for delivering building projects in Scotland, something Civic Engineers have been keen to develop. Also having a studio in Scotland will undoubtedly increase our credibility as a truly national UK consultancy.
What is your favourite project you’ve worked on?
I’d have to say the Hamilton Retail Park project in the mid-1990s. This was a mixed-use development including a supermarket, leisure and non-food retail units on the site of the Hamilton Academicals former football ground and an adjacent derelict industrial site. It was a big job at the time, and done before the days of digital ground modelling – I remember doing all the earthwork calculations and contours for the remodelling of the steeply sloping site by hand!
Apart from new buildings and roads it had a bit of everything; remediation of contaminated ground from an old tar works; stabilising an old pit shaft; crushing and recycling the concrete terracing and foundations of the old football stadium. We even managed to recycle the old Hamilton Accies main stand, which was dismantled and sold to a lower division football club (Auchinleck Talbot)!
Looking back what was the best advice you were given as a young engineer?
Always listen. In my view you can’t provide good engineering solutions unless you really listen to what the client actually wants, understand and absorb it, and respond with relevant solutions. This ensures you understand what the key project drivers are, and why. Likewise, when working in a multi-disciplinary team environment, listening more and talking less is an effective mantra.
What do you think sets Civic Engineers apart?
We are passionate about what we do. We challenge the norm in a constructive way. We encourage all our staff to be free thinkers, which leads to innovation in its truest form in developing optimum design solutions. And last but not least, it’s a fun place to work!