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CIOB Q&A


Q&A


The CEB building has been designed to encourage collaborative working


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FROM THE TOP


GUY FOWLER FCIOB DIRECTOR (MAJOR PROJECTS & RAIL) AT JOHN SISK & SON


TELL US BRIEFLY ABOUT YOUR CAREER From an early age I decided that I wanted to become a civil engineer and build big dams and bridges, albeit I have never built either! So at 16 I went to the CITB College to study for a BTEC in Civil Engineering sponsored by Wimpey Construction. Seven years later I ended up with a BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering. After graduating I joined


John Sisk & Son progressing my career as quickly as I was capable of. I worked my way up to running my own project at 26 years old. In 2003 I joined a young


FACT FILE Client University of Cambridge


Contractor Morgan Sindall Overall cost £40m Green targets BREEAM “very good” Size 10,500 sq m Contract NEC Option A


Laing O’Rourke where I was able to gain some overseas experience, first managing a large £350m project in Abu Dhabi before moving to Mumbai to run a £1bn scheme right in the heart of the city. Unfortunately when the downturn hit in late 2008 the project was placed on hold. I was disappointed to not


see the project through to completion but little did I know a fantastic opportunity was just around the corner. I returned to the UK to work on the London 2012 Athletes’ Village as part of the CLM Delivery Team where I ended up managing five of the 11 residential plots (1,587 units) on behalf of the ODA.


While working on the Olympics I was encouraged to work toward my FCIOB, which I achieved in 2010. In 2011 I was invited to join the board at John Sisk & Son to run its Major Projects business. I jumped at the chance to re-join a great family organisation and take on the new career challenge of running a business.


WHAT ARE YOUR HIGHS AND LOWS? There are too many highs for me to account for them all here. I am really proud to have been part of the London 2012 team and to have placed the first bucket in the ground on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, now the Formula One circuit. More recently it has been


fantastic to be part of the development of Sisk’s new graduate programme, Excelerate, as it has meant that I have been able to help young people on their way to a successful career. Most of the real highs,


however, come from the people I have worked with. We have lots of really fantastic people in this industry who work together to build some amazing projects. I am not someone who really


has regrets. I have worked on some very difficult projects but there is always something to learn.


“To get the best experience possible, try to be flexible within the organisation you work in and make the most of opportunities ”


WHAT WISDOM WOULD YOU PASS TO A CONSTRUCTION MANAGER STARTING OUT? Experience still plays a huge part of becoming a competent leader/manager. To get the best experience possible, try to be flexible within the organisation you work in and make the most of any opportunities. There is always something to learn and you can’t always work on the biggest and best project. Be part of a professional


institute such as the CIOB. It enables you to build a great network of contacts and offers learning opportunities. Always consider your long-term goals and ambitions and avoid making decisions that may offer short-term gain but could ultimately be a diversion to your career path.


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The new Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology building is planned for completion in June 2015.


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Guy Fowler is director (Major Projects & Rail) at John Sisk & Son. He has over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry


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