Tristan Taylor is a graduate engineer at Kier Regional Building London. He currently works on the P2 project at King’s Cross and here, he talks about his journey into the construction industry, the projects he has previously worked on and what he has learnt from each of them.
“I always wanted to work in construction. I was a labourer as a teenager, and this made me realise I wanted to see and be involved in a project through its entire lifespan. I went to Loughborough University and studied Civil Engineering including a masters. After my first year of university I completed a summer placement with Kier and, after my second year I was lucky enough to do a full placement year with Kier.
During my summer placement, I worked on the £55m North Middlesex Hospital. This project was a refurbishment to the existing retained estate, comprising of stroke & HIV units and cardiology as well as the construction of a new facility. Working in a live hospital environment was really interesting and I was able to vastly broaden my skills during this time.
In my sandwich year I worked on the £35m Parnell House in Victoria. This was a refurbishment on an existing six-storey office building, including the construction of three residential floors. We worked in a very central location with all works were carried out above an operating pub, adjacent to a live theatre and opposite Victoria Train Station. Understanding the different pressures of a central London site taught me a lot.
After I graduated, I knew I wanted to work at Kier. In the industry it is notorious for treating its staff well and having a comprehensive graduate programme and training. During my placements, I was made to feel very welcome by my colleagues; they were also open to sharing their knowledge if you showed a genuine interest – this experience largely contributed to my decision to return to Kier.
I am very ambitious and being a site engineer brings me one step closer to my next career goal of managing a project. My day-to-day role involves enforcing the site’s quality and safety standards, ensuring that every element construction on site is built safely, to the correct specification, in the current location and on time.
P2 is a 12-storey, 388,000ft² building and is the latest project to be delivered as part of the 67 acre redevelopment at King’s Cross. Upon completion, it will include a 600-seat theatre, dedicated retail space and nine floors of office space. I am very lucky to have been put on such a technically complex project as my first graduate job. Each of the projects I have worked on have provided me with different skills and expertise that I will take with me as I progress in the industry.”