Meet the team
David Climie, Project Director
Around the World in Eight Bridges
In the first in a series of fascinating and lively profiles of key personnel from right across the project team, we talk to Transport Scotland’s Project Director David Climie. In an in-depth interview, we find out about a global career full of unique challenges and equally unique solutions.
There are no ideal CVs in civil engineering. One of its great attractions is the diverse paths people take: the unexpected experiences, unforeseen problems and unconventional solutions you can store away never knowing the minute when they might be applicable on a future job.
Iain Murray, Operations Director for Employer’s Delivery Team
Homegrown engineer, world-class projects
There’s no more ‘Scottish’ a profession than engineering. Scots-born pioneers like James Watt, Thomas Telford and William Arroll helped shape the modern world – inspired, no doubt, by the challenges presented by the geography of their small but dramatically-formed homeland.
So it’s fitting that the Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC) project employs lots of contemporary Scots engineers, many of whom have already crossed paths in the past, in different roles, on different projects and for different employers. Ironically, the world of major infrastructure, many hundreds of thousands of tonnes of concrete and steel, is also a pretty small one.
Michael Martin, FCBC Project Director
Kessock to Queensferry, the Long Way
Michael Martin’s fascinating career began with Ove Arup & Partners in the 1970s. Founded by the eponymous Danish “Philosopher Engineer”, the company is renowned for the importance it places on its values, vision and the contribution individuals can make.
“They used to say there,” recalls Michael, “that responsibility is everywhere at Ove Arup. All you have to do is bend down and pick it up.”
Responsibility is a key word. You get the sense, right from his first job as a graduate engineer on the construction of the Brighton Marina to his latest role as Principal Contract Project Director on the Queensferry Crossing, Michael Martin doesn’t just pick up responsibility but scoops it up with both hands. And encourages others to do the same.
Ronan Hayes MRICS, FCBC Survey Manager
Masters of all they survey
Everyone knows what surveyors do – right? Well, maybe not. We talk to Ronan Hayes MRICS, FCBC Survey Manager, to find out how the work of the FCBC Surveying Department adds value to the construction of the Queensferry Crossing.
Q: What does the Surveying Department do?
A: Before a blow is struck on site, any construction project kicks off with designs laid out in a series of highly detailed technical drawings. It is the surveyor’s job to make sure those on paper or electronic designs are translated accurately into physical reality out there on the construction site. So, on a day-today basis, we work very closely with both the designers and the construction teams, monitoring every stage of construction. The aim is to ensure the finished product is correct and exactly what the client is looking for.
Neil Robinson, FCBC Temporary Works Co-ordinator for Foundations & Towers
Temporary, but vital for success
The term “temporary works” is not well understood outside the construction industry. We talk to Neil Robinson, FCBC Temporary Works Co-ordinator for Foundations & Towers, to find out why the work of his team is so important to the success of the Forth Replacement Crossing project.
Q: What are temporary works?
A: Temporary works cover a wide range of infrastructure equipment which makes the construction of the permanent works (ie. the new bridge itself and the connecting roads) possible. Every construction project – from the Pyramids to the new Queensferry Crossing – requires temporary works. Scaffolding is a good example. It enables the people and materials required to construct, say, a house to get to where they are needed. Without temporary works, nothing would ever get built!
Jim Woods, FCBC Deputy Laboratory Manager
FCBC’s test laboratory is vital to the project
The project to build the Queensferry Crossing has a dedicated, on-site testing laboratory. Here, Jim Woods, FCBC Deputy Laboratory Manager, explains the importance of the work carried out by the laboratory team.
Q: What’s the purpose of the FCBC lab?
A Essentially, the work we do is to ensure that the materials employed in the permanent works – whether excavated on-site and then re-cycled or delivered from off-site – are suitable for the specific purpose they are intended for.
Q: What sort of materials are we talking about?
A: Well, for a start, there’s soil. For example, thousands of tonnes of soil are being removed during the connecting road excavations currently under way from Echline to Dundas on the south side. Most of it is intended for re-use somewhere else on the site – to form embankments, say, or noise reduction bunds within the permanent roadworks. However, before it can be recycled in this way, we test it to make sure it is fit for purpose. Too much or too little moisture and the soil will not compact properly.