The first team you meet as you walk around GKR’s new Head Office on London’s Tower Bridge Road is the Design Engineering team.
You would be forgiven for thinking you had walked into a tech startup or design agency, not a scaffolding business.
But this talented team of Engineers are what enables GKR to deliver a complete and responsive service to the contractors they work with. And are taking GKR and the way we work with clients to the next level.
Being one of the largest in-house Scaffold Design Engineering teams in the South East, they are also one of GKR’s most diverse in terms of nationality. Each member is from a different country representing Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Nigeria and … Southend!
We took some time out to talk to Design Team Lead – Lachezar, about their work and why they love working at GKR…
How would you describe what you do?
Very simply, we create bespoke scaffold designs.
We work closely with all 4 Business Units, the Quantity Surveyors and the Estimating team. You’ll often see Engineers on-site scoping the design needs of all our projects.
We also ensure that all our designs adhere to current regulations and codes of practice.
What is the best thing about being a Design Engineer?
It’s a bit of a cliché, but we get challenged every single day. No two days are the same.
You have to be very solution oriented as well as having the technical capabilities to do this job. Many people think that we work in silo, but the team dynamic really enhances our roles. We have a mix of experience in the team and it creates a great learning environment for us all.
What is the most challenging part of the job?
Turning what seems undoable to doable! There is a point early on in some projects when you need to explore what the solutions might be. This is where being part of a growing team benefits us.
There is often a lot of lively debate and discussion on some of the more complex projects within the Design Engineering Team. It’s a great opportunity for the less experienced engineers to think through complex problems in a mentored environment.
What qualifications and skills do you need to do your job?
Typically a BSc/BEng or MSc/MEng in Civil Engineering. But great interpersonal skills are also essential. Good communication skills are paramount, as well as the ability to work with lots of different stakeholders in the business.
Being a problem solver who thrives on a challenge is also extremely important.
And the big question – why do you like working for GKR Scaffolding?
We have a very energetic team here. We work hard, take the time to pass on our knowledge and skills, and enjoy our Friday evenings having a few drinks together after a long week.
The wider company gives us a huge amount of support. GKR’s commitment to continuous improvement runs through everything we do. Some of us are still studying, and our development is actively supported and encouraged.
Being part of a fast paced company like GKR with such high profile, complex projects to work on, is a great opportunity for all of us.