With #journeys, we’re sharing stories about how CIHT helps highways and transport professionals go further and faster in their careers.

The value of CIHT membership
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Sharing stories

From Ice skating to EngTech

  • Renata Barnes

    Renata Barnes

    How gaining my EngTech gave clients a recognised standard

    After spending the first 20 years of my life in professional sport – Short Track Speed Skating – when I retired, wanting a more normal life I had no idea what I actually wanted to do. After starting a temporary placement in the Communications Centre on Highways England Area 4 contract I realised I LOVE roads! A place opened in the Traffic & Safety Team which I jumped at and was lucky enough to be sent back to college to study Traffic Engineering on day release. It was around this time I realised this industry was where I was always meant to be, with an ex traffic police officer as a father and being unfortunate enough to be effected by losing a family member in a Road Traffic Collision, I was made for Road Safety Engineering.
    Having not had the usual Civils background gaining Professional Qualification through the CIHT was definitely the way forward. Gaining my EngTech qualification was extremely important to me and my company, it gives a recognised standard that I would otherwise not have, giving clients the reassurance that they need. The CIHT have been instrumental in offering advice and guidance all the way through, they have been friendly and approachable and offered the support I needed.
    So now I’m looking to the next step, IEng, and I am happy that I’ll be progressing through this next step with the CIHT.


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From Trainee to Chartered Engineer

  • Rowland Gordon

    Rowland Gordon

    How becoming a Chartered Engineer led to new challenges

    After studying a BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree, I went on to pursue an MSc degree in Urban Civil Engineering. Soon after I started my MSc, I was accepted on a three year secondment as a Trainee Site Manager with Willmott Dixon Housing Southern Ltd working on various construction sites across the south of London including building environmentally friendly homes in Carshalton, Housing Regeneration schemes in Mitcham and an extension to a young offender’s prison in Bromley.
    I then went on to work for an in-house Consultancy Team at Wandsworth Council in 1996 working on a range of highway and traffic engineering projects. It was whilst I was at Wandsworth Council that I joined the then Institution of Highways and Transportation (IHT) in 2000. I had hoped to complete my career appraisal within a year of becoming a member of the IHT but a career move to Croydon Council in late 2000 coupled with the challenges of bringing up young children saw this aspiration falter. I however did not lose sight of my dream and after convincing a number of colleagues to become members of the CIHT and to pursue their Professional Qualifications over the years, I finally decided that I had to lead from the front by taking a leaf from my own book and get my Professional Qualification done. Even though I had pursued a number of postgraduate and senior management courses, I was not satisfied; in the back of my mind it bothered me that I did not have the recognised defining qualification of a professional engineer. 
    I therefore set myself a target of four months to put together my appraisal report and submit it. I wanted to be accountable to someone in terms of achieving the target and therefore shared my aspiration with friends who were already professionally qualified knowing that they would not let me miss the challenge I had set myself. 
    I was able to achieve my goal and I became a Chartered Engineer via the CIHT. I am now looking for new challenges and to encourage more members to do their professional appraisal and also become professionally qualified.


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From internship to IEng

  • Sachin Kirtane

    Sachin Kirtane

    How an internship inspired me to pursue a career in transportation around the world

    I have had the privilege of working on projects in countries such as UK, USA, India, Qatar and Oman during my career. 
    While studying for my Bachelor’s degree in Civil engineering, I got an opportunity to do an internship at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. This project exposed me to the field of transport planning where we were required to do a feasibility study for a public transportation system within the campus. This got me interested in the field of Transportation Engineering. 
    To specialise in this field, I decided to pursue my Masters in Transportation engineering from UT Arlington, USA. My passion for the field grew every day. Whilst working on a World Bank Funded project in a remote north eastern state in India, I realised how a Highway can impact the living of masses and the significance of my profession for a country’s development. 
    I became a CIHT member in 2013 whilst working on the infrastructure projects in Qatar. I attained the Incorporated Engineer status in July 2015.  The membership, CPD events as well as the professional review experience have given me access to the community of highways and transportation engineers worldwide. My IEng qualification has recently helped me to gain a job in Oman. I believe it will also help me to collaborate better with my peers working in our industry.
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From Canadian cricket to construction career

  • Daniel Jackson

    Daniel Jackson

    How collaboration can drive the industry forward

    At school I didn’t apply myself and was categorised as an under achiever, upon reflection this was due to not having a clear vision of my career options.

    After leaving school I worked in a local leisure centre before heading to Canada where I played cricket for a summer and, without a career plan, I was considering a profession as a sports coach.

    It was not until I returned to the UK and secured a job as a trainee land surveyor on site at Costain Skanska’s A43 Silverstone Bypass project that I realised a career in construction was for me. I absolutely fell in love with the industry from the first day of being on site.

    While employed in roles ranging from engineer to estimator, I studied a HNC, a HND and finally a BSc (Hons) in Construction Management over a period of six years. In 2010 I moved in to business development – the same year I joined CIHT – and have been a business development manager at Skanska since last year.

    I joined the Institution because I felt like I had something to offer the industry. CIHT can bring the sector together to help to understand and address challenges in a collaborative, open platform.

    Having joined the East Midland Branch committee in 2010, I was asked to be a nominated member of Council in 2011 where I served for three years. I am currently the East of England Region’s communications officer and I sit on CIHT’s Procurement and Delivery Panel.

    I would encourage members to take an active role within the institution whether at a regional level, participating in training or just networking at events, because you really do get out what you put in. The industry needs to be brave, we face many challenges so use the learned society to share ideas and knowledge and make a real difference!

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From work experience to experienced professional

  • Emily White

    Emily White

    How membership led to promotion.

    I studied Geography at university and had no real plans to work in transport, but my work experience with Peter Brett Associates LLP in their sustainable transport team changed that. I saw the possibilities of a career in this sector and went after them. I also realised that qualifications can make a big difference to the progress you make. So during my first job I studied part time for a Masters in Transport Planning & Engineering.

    I am now with Jacobs and have been for five years. My CIHT membership is proving very valuable. I was closely involved with former Thames & Chilterns Branch of the Institution, becoming chair of the Technical Events team – and through it I’ve met so many interesting and important industry people. Now, in the new CIHT South East Region, I have been elected as the Web/Communications Officer, a role which I am already enjoying.

    My major promotion to Senior Transport Planner was due, in part at least, to my involvement with CIHT. And my role with the Thames & Chilterns Branch led to winning the Emerging Transportation Professional Award for 2014.

    In June 2015 I reached another landmark in my career development when I gained the Transport Planning Professional qualification through CIHT. This qualification is the equivalent of a Chartered Engineer for transport planners and I am very proud to have achieved this status early in my career. I found that the professional network I have built-up through CIHT helped to support me with the challenge of gaining the qualification.
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From designing buildings to shaping cities

  • David Ubaka

    David Ubaka

    How I found the way to running my own consultancy.

    Training as an architect and urban designer was an unusual starting point for a transport consultant, but it made sense to me – streets, roads, pavements, and every other space between buildings define the buildings themselves.

    As an urban designer within Transport for London, I learned how rail, bus services and highways work. Understanding a really broad spectrum of issues with transport was a great foundation for me. These are the insights that opened the door to running my own consultancy.

    Right through my career I’ve never stopped learning about the relationship between “placemaking” and different modes of transport. CIHT membership – and my involvement with the Urban Design panel in particular – has been hugely important in helping me learn and develop throughout my career.

    I’ve shared knowledge and ideas with CIHT peers whose backgrounds are more engineering-focused than mine, and that’s been vital in shaping my input into documents like Boris Johnson’s “Mayor’s Transport Strategy”.

    Today, the insights and state of the art thinking I pick up through CIHT membership are vital to the rounded advice my consultancy offers its clients.


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From winning awards to winning business

  • Andrew Moseley

    Andrew Moseley

    How building a network has built my business

    My undergraduate degree was in Town Planning, but every semester at university I jumped at the chance to take transport related modules.

    In fact “jumping at chances” has been really important right through my career. When I was working in private consultancy under a Local Authority Framework I put myself forward for any opportunity that would broaden my knowledge.

    CIHT membership has played a central role in my career. Winning in the CIHT young professional of the year Award in 2013 gave me confidence, credibility and raised my profile in the industry; sitting and passing the new TPP transport planning qualification means I’m recognised as a Transport Planner by my peers; CIHT membership has helped me to build a strong network.

    And now, networking at CIHT seminars creates opportunities for my business – in fact we’ve just won a new client who I first met at a CIHT event.

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From accidents to academia

  • Deborah Sims

    Deborah Sims

    How Chartered status opened the doors of academia.

    I did a Civil Engineering degree at Kingston University – it was a sandwich course with an industry placement at Surrey Council. My first job was as an assistant engineer at the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, where I gained an insight into the proposal process for highways, as well as into their design and construction.

    I developed a strong interest in accident investigation and road safety engineering, and knew that a professional qualification could really move my career forward. Chartered status is the high water mark in our industry, so that’s what I pursued.

    Becoming a Chartered Engineer has been hugely helpful for me, opening the way for a management role with a leading engineering firm, and ultimately enabling my entry into academia.

    Being a member of CIHT has been important in other ways. It’s the other members that make the experience so valuable. Membership has allowed me to build an effective and diverse professional network.


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From construction to building a niche consultancy

  • Luke Meechan

    Luke Meechan

    How I networked my way to cutting edge consultancy.

    I started out by doing a vocational HND in Civil Engineering, then progressed to a Civil Engineering degree. Going to university was a great confidence booster for me.

    My first job was with a construction company. It gave me a solid grounding in the essentials of programme and project management, and in the skill of sharing information with sub-contractors.

    But the big leap for me was moving to Hong Kong. It was a fascinating place and the work was equally inspiring. I was an Assistant Resident Engineer on a slope stabilisation project. I had huge responsibilities which came with fabulous opportunities – managing designs, building teams and client relationships.

    I’ve been involved with CIHT since 2004 and it’s made a big difference to my career, contributing to my organisations credibility as well as providing the opportunity to develop myself and give something back to the industry.

    Today I co-run run a niche consultancy, advising public sector authorities on issues around flood risk and infrastructure asset management. CIHT Fellowship lets potential clients know that we are a serious proposition.

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If you are an existing member and want to find out how you can get involved in #journeys click here.