Meet the London Olympics team

Published: 27 Jan 2009


Lisa Morgan, 22 - Job: assistant quantity surveyor at Carillion - 2012 project: Media centre

I was working for Carillion in the maintenance department back in Maesycwmmer, my small village in Wales. The biggest job I’d done was £2m so I asked my boss if I could try working on a slightly bigger project. I couldn’t believe it when he came back and said, “How about the Olympics?”

I started at Carillion in admin and had never even heard of a QS. Now I am training to be a qualified surveyor on the project that everybody wants to be involved with.

We are hoping to be on site next year and since I’ve never been on site before, I see this as my biggest challenge.

Stuart Frase, 33 - Job: architect at Make - 2012 project: Handball arena

I said my boss Ken Shuttleworth it would be wonderful to be part of a spectacle like the Olympics and that it was an opportunity not to be missed. He said to me: “Go and win us a project then.” Our Olympic work has been my responsibility ever since.

So now here I am leading the design consortium as project architect. This role means I am responsible for co-ordination and ensuring that we work together as a team. Working on the Olympics is something that I can look back on proudly for years to come.

Elsie Twumasi-Mensah, 28 - Job: civil engineer at Atkins - 2012 project: Olympic park and infrastructure

It is hard to describe the elation of working on the Olympics. I have wanted to work on the site for ages so I am ecstatic to be assigned this.

My responsibility is for design co-ordination. In other words I am a link between Atkins and the client, CLM. It is basically a problem-solving role ensuring there are no clashes and everything runs smoothly for the 18 months we are on site.

We have to do two things – design for the Games and then ensure those designs have a legacy. 

 It is really scary that everything has to be done by 2011 – it is a deadline that simply can’t be missed.

Elizabeth Collins-Hopper, 29 - Job: quantity surveyor at Balfour Beatty - 2012 project: Aquatics centre

QSing is really my back-up career plan coming into action. I started paying for my MSc in surveying (for non-cognates) on my own before I started job hunting for QS jobs. I was then extremely fortunate to get a place on the Balfour Beatty graduate scheme this year and was even more fortunate to be posted to the aquatics centre project.

At first I was a bit daunted by the prospect of working on the Olympics, especially since this is my first job in the industry. But I have to say that I am working in a really supportive environment, where I can ask loads of questions without being made to feel stupid.

My biggest challenge is juggling everything – I will be studying for a masters, doing my APC, plus working on this project.

Alex Drayton, 24 - Job: assistant construction manager at Bovis Lend Lease - 2012 project: Olympic village

The great thing about this job is that I’m learning about all types of construction, and all at a fast pace. I can see everything from the civils construction to the roof structure and the landscaping. This is the only project that would expose a young graduate to that range.

My current job involves making sure the utilities works are not getting in the way of other construction work, or vice versa. I also check that contractors are complying with the brief.

My biggest challenge is absorbing as much information as possible without letting it fly by. It gets to the point where things happen so fast that you think, I didn’t even see how that structure went up.

Neil Hitchin, Age: 25 - Job: fire engineer at Arup - 2012 project: Aquatics centre, water polo venue

I wanted to work on big exciting construction projects – that’s why I joined Arup. Now I’m on the Games I can’t believe my luck. I love telling people in the pub that I’m working on the Olympics.

I do think about how the public will react to our work. After all, their money is paying for it.

Michael Keverne, 32 - Job: structural engineer at Buro Happold - 2012 project: Olympic stadium

My first Olympic work experience was as a student engineer on the Sydney Superdrome.

In August 2007 I moved down to London to work on the main stadium and have been involved since the design was at stage B, basically a blank piece of paper and a few ideas!

My role is making sure we deliver what we said we would, and do it on time. I’m managing a team of six engineers and four technicians, plus I have my own packages to so there’s a design element to my job, too.

Lifting the stadium roof will be a crunch moment. It’s a complicated piece of erection and it has to go perfectly. It’s one of the last things that happens structurally and will mark the completion of the best part of our work, so it will be a milestone.

I will definitely be having a few drinks that night!

For the full article visit The Building London 2012 team: an awfully big adventure.

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