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A day in the life of Major Projects Surveyor

Posted on 15 August 2014 11:37 AM by Baker1R

I always try to take each day as it comes and be ready for the unexpected, but a meeting one day with an A-list actress at a residents’ association meeting did take me by surprise.

I had to present a new UK Power Networks project to a group from the association. She was there, and I kept thinking of all the shows I'd seen her in – but I’m not going to tell you who she was!

I've previously worked as an actor for two years touring the UK with various Shakespeare productions.. A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It and Hamlet - a favourite was Much Ado About Nothing, where I played one half of the comedy duo, Constable Dogberry and his deputy Verges.

Not A-list, but it was good fun and taxing.

In its own way, my current role is just as challenging and rewarding, as I'm here to negotiate land rights and acquire land to facilitate major UK Power Networks projects. This means I need to listen closely at all times and work tactfully with property owners who can be very particular, and rightly so.

My big break
I got my break in the energy sector when I took a trainee position as a contractor with Central Networks, in Nottingham, before moving south as a contractor for UK Power Networks.

I now work directly for UK Power Networks and my time is split between meetings on site and in the office.  

I can be called on to see contractors, property owners and councillors to discuss specific projects and what impact they might have.

Dealing with councils is a crucial element of the negotiation process and we always try to listen to their concerns and what they do, or don't want, to happen. It's not that unusual to have some 'interesting' requests – 'If you do such and such, we want such and such.' I take that with a pinch of salt as we always stick by the rules.

There might be a site meeting at a substation to look at a project. This will allow us to assess what is there on the ground, see where the project plans fit or don't fit, and also assess other land rights to allow us to carry out the works.

We work together with landowners to try and achieve what the project needs and will discuss any concerns that they have.

It's very important to work closely with the project managers, designers and quantity surveyors to help them deliver the project designs we're working on, which we'll then take to landowners.

I find the teamwork inspiring, and colleagues have helped me with my own career and training.

Seeing the project through
We want to work together to build the project and one of the great satisfactions of the job is seeing it through from start to finish and overcoming difficult problems along the way.

I know that by completing these projects, I have played my own small part in the development of London and the South East’s electricity distribution network.

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