For the first in our People Powered Profile series, Kevin Over, Head of Power at Astute, caught up with Craig Buris, Project Manager at ENCYCLIS to hear more about his career.
Can you tell us a bit about your career?
I started my career with a modern apprenticeship in civil engineering, under the tutelage of two brilliant Chartered Engineers who invested a lot of time and effort into my development.
In those early years, I was fortunate enough to be involved in a broad range of activities in the construction industry, taking projects from feasibility, through design, procurement, and construction, which naturally led to me becoming a Project Manager.
After completing a Diploma in Construction Management, I followed this up with a Master’s degree in Project Management and became a Chartered Construction Manager in 2015.
And what are some of the projects you’ve been involved in?
For the last dozen or so years I have worked in the energy sector, managing the construction of several energy recovery facilities.
The latest one being Newhurst ERF, a 43MW plant in Leicestershire.
This project was a great example of how collaboration and communication play a key part in achieving successful outcomes.
What are some of the biggest challenges the industry is facing?
The obvious challenges over the last couple of years have been the impact to the supply of labour and materials caused by Covid and Brexit.
Looking to the future, attracting enough young people into the industry, across all trades and professions, is going to be really difficult.
And what are some of the skillsets you’re seeing high demand for in the power sector?
There has always been a high demand for those who have a blend of trades experience and ability combined with a knowledge and understanding of engineering principles, as they are the people best equipped to deal with the multi-faceted issues encountered on construction sites.
What do you enjoy most about working in the industry?
Working in the construction industry can be very satisfying, as the output of your labour is very tangible.
Also, even though technology now plays a bigger part than ever, construction is still a people business.
It relies on people to get the job built, and the industry is full of some amazing characters!
What advice would you give your younger self as you embarked upon your career?
Buy shares in Apple!
I’ve been lucky to have some amazing mentors over the years, who have not only given me fantastic advice but acted as great role models that I’ve tried to emulate.
I suppose the advice I’d give my younger self would be, "Be patient – you’re not expected to know everything right from the off.”
Even 20+ years into my career, I’m still learning every day.
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