As JMS enters a new phase of growth, we speak to Mark Weston, Director of JMS East Anglia, about working at JMS through the pandemic – and new business opportunities as the company opens a new office in Cambridge.
Before working at JMS what was the most unusual or interesting job you have ever had?
A stand-out project was the development of a new 45,000m2 shopping and leisure venue in West Bromwich, comprising of 40 shops and restaurants, a cinema and a multi-storey car park. The design challenge on this job was fulfilling, but the working relationships established between the multi-disciplinary team, client and contractor is what I remember most fondly.
Other projects that I loved working on include the design of new access stairways at the top of the 175m high towers of the George Washington Bridge, and flying out by helicopter to structurally inspect gas platforms in the Southern North Sea.
What does a typical day at the new Cambridge office look like and what are you currently working on?
A typical day starts with a review of our existing workload and the scheduling of new projects across my teams. I have a series of group or one-to-one discussions with colleagues on progress, opportunities or obstacles. My time is often spent on project peer reviews, which currently includes a six to eight storey, steel and RC framed residential development. I also like to get out of the office to meet with our current and prospective clients to discuss opportunities.
Tell us about the new JMS branch at Cambridge and what you hope to achieve?
We are looking forward to establishing ourselves in Cambridge and becoming a core JMS office in the region. Most of all, we are excited about building new relationships with local businesses and clients, which will help projects come in on time and within budget.
JMS has built many strong partnerships over the years, and we believe that our success is down to our outward looking and collaborative approach.
What opportunities do you see in the Cambridgeshire region?
There will be many new developments around Cambridge as thousands of new homes have been given the go ahead as part of the Central Government directive, which was issued in 2015 to increase national housing stock. As a hub for research and development in science and technology, there is scope for many new sites to be developed, and we are used to working on specialist projects with unique requirements.
We provide a full range of Civil and Structural engineering services for new and existing developments. We look forward to bringing our outstanding client services to Cambridgeshire and playing a key role in the many civil and structural developments lined up in the City and surrounding areas.
How has JMS helped you in your career development?
Having spent a large proportion of my career developing a wide range of technical skills as a Chartered Structural Engineer, my role has naturally evolved into a management-based position. Since joining JMS, my leadership skills have developed through monthly peer group meetings and one-to-one mentoring with subject matter experts.
What advice do you have for prospective JMS candidates?
My advice for prospective JMS candidates is to be your yourself; be open and honest about what you want in a career; and do not be afraid to offer suggestions or ideas to solve problems.
Our team is growing, so we are always on the lookout for experienced and graduate Civil or Structural Engineers. Take a look at our recruitment page to find out more >>>
What do you like most about working at JMS?
In addition to the wide range of clients at JMS, I like the early opportunities given to engineers to gain responsibility in team leadership and project finance. Throughout the pandemic our focus has been on support and training, to give the tools and skills needed to adapt to the period of change. It has been wonderful to see how well the team has responded and supported each other throughout.
- What is on your wish list for the next 10 years at JMS?
I am looking forward to developing JMS throughout Cambridge, East Anglia and across the UK. This will provide our existing and future engineers with the opportunity to develop their skills, build their experiences and reach their career goals…and perhaps gain Chartered status to develop into senior members of the JMS team, who knows?