Our spotlight this week is on our engineering team. We asked our very own David D’Arcy what engineers do when they’re not engineering. Here’s what we found out, starting with the important questions about life outside work.
When’s the wedding? (Mr D’Arcy was supposed to be getting married in France but like lots of parties, it’s on hold..)
“It’s been postponed a year from Summer 2021 to 2022, so there’s plenty of time for the Southern France vineyards to stock up before the Scottish invasion!
What’s your job title?
Associate Director, leading the engineering arm of the business.
I like the people I work with. We deliver projects of varying scales from start to finish and because we are working together in-house, it’s a more efficient process for us all. We work hard and enjoy a drink together when the pubs are open that is.
Why engineering? Did you always want to be an engineer? Did you like lego growing up?
The obligatory answer for structural engineers, and one which isn’t incorrect, is that I spent my youth playing lego! I was also a keen Airfix model builder/collector as I’ve always enjoyed design and how things are put together. Also, as a keen football fan, I’ve always been mesmerised and intrigued by stadiums and their construction. This was the start of my love for architecture and structures.
Do people (generally) know what an engineer does, and do you get asked this question a lot?
All the time! And no. No one knows what we really do, unless you’re an engineer obviously. I would always describe a structural engineer as someone who offers the math and technical assurances of what a structure can achieve.
Apart from the beautiful game, what do you engineers do when they are not engineering?
I have graduated from building lego and now enjoy a bit of DIY. So far, I’ve converted my attic, installed new kitchens and bathrooms, and recently I have converted my own garage in our new home (giving me a domestic cinema room/sports bar to enjoy the beautiful game, since we can’t get out!) I must have done a good job as I’m converting my fiancée’s parents’ garage in my free time since wedding planning is on hold.
What are you reading/watching/listening to?
I am a keen World War II enthusiast thanks to my grandad’s stories from his time serving his country. I enjoy reading about the Battle of Britain and I’m hooked on any WW2 documentaries/shows!
What have you done in lockdown that you are most proud of?
Converted my garage into a sports bar/cinema room!
What advice would you give someone looking to get into engineering?
You need to be passionate and motivated in whatever you choose to do. We, in the engineering department at NIXON, are passionate in what we do, and we are always taking pride in the quality of work we produce. It’s great when you receive positive feedback from clients. I would encourage anyone aspiring engineers to get some work experience and get a feel for the industry. There are many different fields in construction and engineering and it’s about what you feel most connected with.
What do you most want to do after lockdown?
Get married and enjoy the weekend in France with all my family and friends! I have a niece who was born a year ago now, and I haven’t been able to properly see her. I am looking forward to spending as much time with all my nieces as it has been hard only seeing them socially distanced! Also socialising with my friends and getting back to football!