At Careys , we're thrilled to have highly experienced professionals who are able to share and contribute their vast knowledge of the industry and wealth of expertise with the entire company. This enables us to continuously learn and improve our planning and delivery of works.
This week, we spoke with one of these invaluable resources – Director of Engineering and Development, Dr Sam Wong – who joined Careys in 2014. He shared details with us about his exceptional career, his favourite project and his thoughts on some of the most effective innovations the industry has seen to date.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
My day-to-day responsibilities, which vary, include:
- Providing civil and structural engineering advice to Careys Design Team on specific design challenges
- Supporting our operational teams to overcome obstacles on site
- Helping our work winning team to identify and assess technical risks
I also carry out post-project reviews, which involves collating lessons learnt across various projects and sharing this with our teams across the Group.
How did you decide on a career in construction?
My father was a small building contractor in Hong Kong. I helped him on building sites when I was young, and found it fascinating seeing how buildings were built. It was a natural progression that I decided to pursue a career in civil and structural engineering.
What is your opinion on the most effective innovation within the industry?
I would say the advancements in digital technology, such as building information modelling (BIM) and robotic design have been the most effective innovations in the industry to date.
This has led to complicated structures being able to be analysed, designed and constructed, using reliable and strategic digital tools and programmes. This new technology permits better coordination of complex construction activities – enabling the structure to be visualised, tried and tested before even beginning to deliver works on site.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I really enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with other team members. I relish mentoring junior employees and supporting them towards their membership within civil and structural engineering institutions.
What is your favourite project?
There are many very interesting projects that I have been involved in since joining Careys. My most favourite project was the V&A museum in Dundee, Scotland.
The challenges we faced and overcame in constructing this complex concrete and steel structure were satisfying, and successfully completing it was a significant achievement. Some of the most memorable of these challenges included the:
- Design for the special concrete mix
- Intricate design, fabrication and installation of the complex formwork
- Setting out of the complex geometry of the structure
- Temporary work design, which supported the partially constructed structure
I was very pleased to work with an excellent team and contribute to the successful delivery of this award-winning project.
What's your approach to overcoming challenges?
There are many challenges in my role as Director of Engineering. One of these involves facilitating effective communications from and to team members on site. They are often very busy, which makes it difficult, at times, for them to share their site and project-delivery knowledge and experience with other members of our teams.
To obtain and make sure that this valuable information is passed on and learned from, I take a number of steps, such as:
- Extracting details written by our site teams in their weekly project reports
- Making regular visits to our sites
- Speaking with the key site team members about their lessons learnt
- Delivering seminars to offer knowledge and improve performance
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in construction?
The construction industry offers a great opportunity to develop your skills
Whilst it can be tough working on site, you will feel a sense of achievement when a project is completed to an excellent standard.
You can share this satisfaction about what you have accomplished with your relatives and friends by pointing out landmarks that you helped build.
How would you describe the culture at Careys?
At Careys, we have a culture where we constantly drive for excellence, always striving to become better every day in our performance and knowledge. Additionally, safety is a strong priority to us, rather than an after-thought.
Sharing knowledge and our resilience to learn from our mistakes helps us to maintain our consistently high standards and attain our goals.