Kris James

Associate

Transport and Infrastructure Group

Twitterised: Me in less than 140 characters.

A driven and enthusiastic Associate Team Leader for our T&I Design team in Nottingham. Enjoys problem solving and leading a dedicated team.

Why I decide to do what I do

I wanted to be just like Tom Cruise in Top Gun and fly fighter jets…and then reality kicked in. After that, it was either the Royal Engineers or the private sector for me! After quickly realising that a barking Corporal and I would not have seen eye to eye, the BWB Partnership (as it was back in 2001!) was the way forward and luckily enough for me, they agreed to take on a cheeky, fresh faced, 18 year old as an Apprentice. I was raised as a Royal Engineer’s son and I suppose engineering was always prominent in my life. I actually considered being an Architect at one point, but I can’t draw free-hand for toffee so that was a non-starter. Now, I genuinely love my job and the satisfaction I get from contributing to society by way of new projects is fantastic.

My potted history

I did well at my GCSEs and went on to start A-levels, but deep down I knew that A-Levels were not for me. Studying A-level English and the theories of Edgar Allan Poe were wasted on me. Instead, I wanted to do something more vocational and related to engineering, so I took myself off to a different college to do just that. At the same time, BWB took me on as a Trainee, enabling me to get hands on experience, and allowing me to continue studying in parallel. A couple of years on, an opportunity presented itself to leave for pastures new and work for a much smaller consultancy called HSL where I was thrown into the deep end, with nowhere to hide. That experience fast-tracked my highway and drainage design skills and put me in a position where I was engaging with clients, contractors and local authorities from very early on in my career. After a number of years at HSL, the pull of the mother ship, which kick-started my career, was too great and I returned to BWB as a Senior Technician. Now I am Team Leader for our incredibly talented and energetic design team in Nottingham. Oh, and I got married in 2013 too!

The best project I have ever worked on at BWB

Without a doubt, being the Lead Design Engineer and then the Supervising Engineer for the Beaconsfield Motorway Services at M40 J2. Having literally put blood, sweat and tears into the design of the major section 278 highway works and then being put in a position to supervise the works over a period of 18 months, was not only enlightening but a real privilege. Seeing every moment of a site going through the motions from the clearance work right through to the last road marking being painted was a priceless experience. Gaining a real time appreciation of what a Contractor ‘actually’ needs to do and the process that they go through to build your design is something which every engineer needs to experience so designs can be as cost efficient and as safe as possible. Having also administered the Contract between the Client and Contractor also gave me an appreciation of the risks each party is exposed to.

What I like to do in my spare time

I’ve played a lot of sports in my time, but if I could play golf every day, I would! Unfortunately BWB won’t pay me to do that, and so my rounds are too few and far between for my liking at the moment. Otherwise, I’m either trying to keep fit with British Military Fitness or out cycling. I have a lunatic Labrador for a dog, who keeps me and my wife on our toes. I’m also an Arsenal FC fan which keeps the fever pitch emotions running high on the sofa, now that I don’t play football anymore.

What I hope to be doing 5 years from now

I hate these types of questions - but hopefully maintaining a sensible balance of the battles and struggles between work and a family.

Kris James

HND Civil Engineering

Associate

Specialist Areas