• Role: Tunnel Engineer
  • University: Oxford
  • Degree: MEng Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Ben Harland

Why did you choose Mott MacDonald?

I came as a student not really knowing what to expect, and found the working environment at Motts was just a great place to be. The projects were big, complex, and fulfilling; the technical standards were high; the culture of the teams I worked in was great; and there seemed to be opportunities all over the world. When my course at Oxford came to an end, I didn’t apply anywhere else.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

The team I work with. My colleagues are fun and intelligent, and excellent engineers; they are people I trust and enjoy working with from day to day. Also, a quality team is what wins the most interesting projects – and fosters the best growth in its younger members.

How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?

There’s a good sense of camaraderie. It’s friendly and in some ways feels laid back, but people have high standards when it comes to quality of work and commitment to the job.

The graduates in Tunnels often eat lunch together, and you find all levels socialising in the pub or at team meals. There’s not been a year yet when I haven’t been on the Tunnels team holiday.

What projects are you working on now?

At the moment I’m working on an early-stage design project, where I am responsible for the outline design of some fairly major pieces of underground infrastructure – right now that includes approximately 21km of twin- and triple-bore high speed railway tunnel, a tunnel portal, and a huge underground crossover box more than 200m long (where the trains can switch tracks).

It’s intensely multi-disciplinary and communication heavy: I coordinate input from architects, environmental specialists, railway engineers, planners, mechanical engineers, transport experts, construction advisors, quantity surveyors and the client. I also spend a good deal of time assisting my manager with the coordination of the rest of our team’s design work.

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