Richard Lowenthal

Technical Director

Business Leadership Team

Twitterised: Me in less than 140 characters.

A career as a Structural Engineer who still loves a new design challenge, and getting buildings built.

Why I decide to do what I do

Like a lot of Engineers, I was good at Maths and Science at school but I really wanted something with a more practical application. Engineering seemed the obvious choice. Quite an influence on my decision was a book called “Dam and Blast” written by a Civil Engineer who had written a chapter dedicated to each of the big projects he had done all over the world, bridges, motorways and (obviously) dams. It all sounded pretty glamorous and I liked the sound of a job that would pay me to travel. This has been a bit of a recurring theme…

I did a General Engineering course with options to do a broad range of subjects. I have always loved buildings and so Structural Engineering seemed a good choice...

Most of my cohort went on to take jobs with accountants or management consultants –I was young and principled at the time so was determined to get professionally qualified in Engineering – then maybe reconsider… I wanted to work in London, and after a round of interviews I took a job with Travers Morgan, partly because they had an approved training scheme but primarily because they had offices in Covent Garden (so much for the high moral ground I thought I was occupying).

My potted history

The majority of my 25 year career has been working for medium to large multi-disciplinary engineering consultancies (AECOM and Arup) which have given me great variety and enjoyment. I also had a 4 year spell in the civil service looking after their overseas estate – mostly client-side project management, but also some specialist engineering stuff too. The job satisfied my wanderlust for a while (30 countries so far) but the bureaucracy is legendary…

Project highlights to date:-
…some of the first PFI hospitals; a Centerparc; the largest (at the time) mosque in the Middle East; CrossRail air rights buildings; the Belfast Arena (Millennium project); Victoria Interchange Project (LandSec); Atlantis Hotel, Las Vegas (Jean Nouvel); high rise commercial and residential up to 80 storeys; prisons; historic buildings; embassies and ambassadors’ residences. All that said, I still hanker after doing an airport project!

As well as many short visits, there have also been 2 longer postings overseas – in Hong Kong working on Olympic Station on the MTR link to the Chep Lap Kok Airport, and in Budapest helping set up a new satellite office servicing Middle East work.

I became a Chartered Membership of the Institution of Structural Engineers in 1995 and still remain involved as a Professional Reviewer for aspiring candidates.

The best project I have ever worked on at BWB

I only joined in April 2014 but I am thoroughly enjoying taking the lead on the Millharbour project (7 buildings of various heights up to 50 storeys on a common podium level) and Lewisham Gateway (more high rise up to 25 storeys) projects, as well as a fledgling involvement on Strand East – all fantastic, big value projects with great project teams and lots of technical challenges.

What I like to do in my spare time

I am the very proud father of 4 sons and the husband to a long-suffering saint of a wife - so they deservedly get the bulk of my attention when I am not at work – although they may say different.

When time permits, I enjoy cycling, racket sports, art, architecture and travel (anywhere new).

What I hope to be doing 5 years from now

Hopefully topping out Millharbour, and maybe acquiring new larger London offices…

Richard Lowenthal

MA(Cantab) CEng MIStructE

Technical Director

Specialist Areas