The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) is the principal
association for geotechnical engineers in the United Kingdom.
The BGA Early Careers Group hosted the lecture and debate entitled ‘Reclaiming Engineering: Entrepreneurship & the profile of geotechnical engineers’ on the 19th of November at Imperial College, London. The lecture was given by Alexander Nikolic, Head of Ground Engineering at Buro Happold Engineering.
Alexander Nikolic discussed the role of geotechnical specialists in delivering multidisciplinary projects and the challenges created by tiers of fragmentation, an adversarial culture and silo working. Methods to improve customer focus and team integration were introduced from other industries. These included concepts such as Kaizen (good change) and the use of ‘delighters’ to achieve customer satisfaction as well as fulfilment. Their application was demonstrated using case study projects including the Emirates Air Line (Docklands, London) and the Harvard Allston Science Complex (Cambridge, MA).
The lecture was introduced by Jonathan Dewsbury from Buro Happold and the audience were asked to consider whether geotechnical engineers can have an impact on industry dynamics. This set the scene for a short debate after the lecture, which was followed by many smaller debates and enthusiastic discussions among the early career members over drinks and snacks.
The BGA Early Careers Group organises quarterly evening lectures which address topics of interest to students and early career professionals. The events aim to create a discussion forum and build a community among early career geotechnical engineers.
At the next BGA Early Careers Group event David Beadman (Byrne Looby Partners) and Mike Rogers (ICE) will be discussing changes to the ICE review and how these apply to geotechnical engineers. The event will be held at WSP House on the 9th of February at 6:30pm.