For British Science week we caught up with Richard Leigh, Project Manager and Civil Engineer at Kier, who is working on the fish passes for Unlocking the Severn.
Richard’s scientific expertise
Engineering is the applied science of acquiring and applying knowledge to design, analysis, and construction of works for practical purposes. So, as a Civil Engineer, Richard can work on the design, construction and maintenance on anything that makes civilisation possible!
How Richard discovered Engineering
Since being a small child Richard always had a fascination with trying to understand how the world around him worked, and he would regularly take things apart and try to fix them. He learnt that he got a kick out of solving problems and so it seemed only natural to look for a career that allowed him to do do just that. Engineering therefore immediately appealed to Richard, but he says it took him some time to decide which discipline to work in.
He explains his final choice: “I chose Civil Engineering due to the large variety of areas you can work in such as roads, airports, water treatment, canals and waterways.”
Richard’s scientific problem solving for Unlocking the Severn
Engineering is hugely important for our project – without modern engineering it wouldn’t be possible to undertake this ambitious river restoration.
As part of a team Richard has helped work out how one of the fish passes can be constructed using technology that is less likely to affected by flooding. The designs aim to make the project easier and safer to build in the expected weather conditions.
Engineering solutions will allow the project to be designed to fit into the existing environment and stay there for many generations. It also will allow the works to be constructed and maintained safely.
“I love the chance to solve interesting problems on a daily basis.”
Richard’s advice for budding engineers:
“I feel very lucky as I’ve had an amazing career that has been filled with interesting challenges that I have enjoyed solving. If you enjoy something it doesn’t really feel like work!
If you are interested in science and engineering, one of the great things is the variety of fields you can work in. I would recommend researching different areas and look to gain work experience so you can find just the right field for you. “