I am driven by challenges and solving the big problems. I look to align my work and projects with some of these challenges and problems that interest me the most.
Associate - Mechanical Engineer
Since joining our team as a graduate in 2015, Akshat has worked on some of the largest, most complex and challenging construction projects in New Zealand. He's got a great blend of technical, project delivery and business understanding in his field and provides exceptional client service on all of his projects.
1. What attracted you to Beca?
As an university student attending the various career fairs and events, there was always a prestigious aura that surrounded the Beca cohort at these events. This drove my curiosity around Beca and made me look further into the business and see the large and wide-ranging impact Beca has made to the engineering sector in New Zealand. As a student I really enjoyed watching shows such as Megastructures, Extreme Engineering and Big, Bigger, Biggest on TV and seeing a company that was working on projects of this scale in the Asia-Pacific region eventually got me attracted towards Beca.
2. On your first day at Beca, what stood out to you?
The Auckland office is massive, a building with over 1200 professionals - just the sheer amount of people was quite overwhelming. After overcoming this ‘overwhelming-ness’, I was able to connect very quickly with the other graduates and interns and formed a good group of friends of like-minded people. This was the genesis to meeting the network of people just within the first day itself and something that still continues many years later. Another thing on day one was some of the self-managed H&S trainings that I completed on day one as part of the onboarding, lots of very useful content which serves as a good segue to understanding the dynamics of construction sites, working in confined spaces, asbestos awareness etc.
3. What sort of projects have you been involved in?
In my early years at Beca I had a deep dive into the technical delivery of building services disciplines – in particular the mechanical services. Through this process I worked on the design and construction of the SkyCity 300 room 5-star Horizon Hotel, University of Auckland’s 786 bedroom Waiparuru Hall student accommodation, AUT’s 20,00m2Engineering School WZ Building, team base for the America’s Cup project amongst others. Though this technical delivery focus has continued, I have taken on more project leadership roles and now managing internal multi-disciplinary project teams, project delivery, H&S, risks and finances on large buildings projects. This comes along with its own different set of challenges and set of skills that I am honing and developing every day.
4. What has been your favourite accomplishment at Beca?
I think the professional networks and the relationships that I have formed (and continue to do so) with people have been incredible and I consider them to be my biggest accomplishment to date. I can call upon various people who I have worked with and can dig into their knowledge set and experiences at any point in time – this is my biggest asset. In a building of 1200 people and an organisation of 3300 individuals, the breadth and depth of knowledge is really extraordinary. When I have an issue or challenge, I am able to leverage this network and provide the ‘best of Beca’ to my project and my clients – and growing myself along the way. With more experience, other people now draw upon me for specialist advice of certain topics so it’s equally an humbling feeling to share knowledge with someone else. It really is a win-win and doesn’t get any better!
5. What gets you out of bed every morning?
I am driven by challenges and solving the big problems. I look to align my work and projects with some of these challenges and problems that interest me the most. This alignment is the key to being motivated in the day-to-day work commitments and ultimately going to bed every night thinking that I will be able to unlock another piece of this problem tomorrow and grow along the way. In the morning, I really feel like today is another day for me to dig further and continue to provide my best self to my projects.
6. How does the work you do ‘make everyday better’ for our clients and communities?
My work at the moment revolves around the healthcare, tourism and education sectors. The fact that the direct outcomes of my projects are providing positive outcomes for building users such as doctors, patients, nurses, hotel guests, hospitality staff, students, lecturers etc. means that I am able to leave my ‘handprint’ on the wider community leading to tangible benefits to people and the economy. These outcomes really drive home for me the ‘make everyday better’ and resonate with my everyday project work.
7. What does the next 12 months hold for you?
How long is a piece of string? The opportunities and experiences I have are very dynamic and wider ranging and testament to what Beca has to offer. Although my current project commitments will continue, my continued focus in the coming year will be to build a stronger team and support network around me - I will be looking to work closely with some of our younger professionals to mentor and train them to provide better services to our clients on projects. Building this strong team will allow me to focus on some of the cool and innovative services and new initiatives that are emerging and focus on developing these ideas to actual products for clients. I am also active in industry bodies such as ACE NZ (Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand) and NZIOB (New Zealand institute of Buildings) and will look to contribute in the wider engineering and construction sector to drive positive outcome more broadly.