Day in the life - George Fitzpatrick

George is a Structural Engineering grad in our Industrial Buildings team in Melbourne.

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George Fitzpatrick – Structural Engineer, Industrial Buildings team in Melbourne

Studied a double degree in Engineering and Architectural Design at Monash University.

7.05 AM An alarm doesn’t wake me up, but our housecat Max does. I let him in, give him a belly rub and some food. Since I’m up early I decide to read in the sun for a bit with a cup of English breakfast.

8.00 AM Breakfast and get ready for work. 5 health star rated muesli from Aldi. Get on it.

8.45 AM Pump up the tires and jump on the single speed down St Kilda Road to the Beca office. They have a nice EOT (End of Trip) bike station equipped with lockers, showers and towels so a lot of people commute by bike.

9.00 AM Log on. I open my computer and enter my password. My laptop has to think about how to laptop for 5 minutes, so I have time to grab a coffee (3/4 strong latte as this has the perfect coffee to milk ratio) and ask a few people how their weekends went.

I sit back down to my now functioning laptop to go through some emails and check the resource schedule for the week. I usually have a quick debrief with the lead engineer on my major project for the week. Currently that’s Frank, so we have a quick one-on-one to go over how we’re going to tackle this week.

9.45 AM Section Monday morning meeting standup. This is the time our Industrial team of structural, process, mechanical, electrical and digital engineers, architects, designers, business administrators and project managers all come together. Typically, it involves us sharing safety stories from our projects and personal lives as well as updates from sales, corporate and delivery. To wrap up we do shout outs to any Beca legends over the past week. This morning an exciting additional section of “sustainability update” was included. One of my responsibilities is my team’s sustainability representative. The update includes Beca’s recent representation at an Engineers Without Borders event and the key takeaways to how we can improve our business for the longevity of our projects and clients were shared.

10.00 AM Team resourcing meeting. This involves my direct team of structural engineers sitting down and going through what’s going on in everyone’s week. It’s a great forum to keep everyone up to date so we can support each other with workload, deliverables, challenges and new projects.

10.30 AM Sit down with an electrical engineer to discuss a project. She’s really busy so it’s a speed meeting. We end up identifying a list of things to work through next meeting when we have a bit more time.

10.45 AM With the administration part of my day done, it’s time to start ticking off some “to-dos”. My main project now is a construction monitoring role where I am representing one of our clients as Project Manager. I make a few phone calls and emails to coordinate a geotechnical subconsultant to come to site this afternoon to inspect a foundation before we do a stabilised sand pour.

11.45 AM Leave the office and swing by home to pick up my car and PPE (personal protective equipment). Whilst I’m there I have a quick lunch and deliver a crisp high five to my housemate who is working from home today.

1.00 PM Arrive at site. I start by walking around with the site foreman to check on the progress of works since my last visit.

1.30 PM I have a check in with Frank over the phone. He’s overseeing my progress on the job. It’s a good time to discuss anything I’m unsure of onsite. Frank’s a Beca veteran originally from the Netherlands and is a great mentor to get support from.

2.00 PM The geotechnical subconsultant arrives at the same time as a truck full of stabilised sand. Perfect. The foreman does his health and safety induction for them and brief them about our footing.

3.30 PM The geotechnical tests are completed and stabilised, sand begins to flow. After a quick debrief with everyone about schedule and coming milestones I sign out and leave site.

4.45 PM Arrive home. There’s not enough time to head back into the office so I open my laptop and work from home for the last part of the day. This involves checking emails and follow up on some site actions that need to be done, including organizing my next site meeting.

5.15 PM Take 15 minutes to prepare for tomorrow. This involves checking my meetings, making my to do list for tomorrow and replying to any emails that I can respond to right now; the rest can wait for tomorrow. I like taking time to do this so I can leave work at work and unwind.

5.30 PM Jot down some notes of what I did today so I can write this article before I forget.

5.45 PM Log off! Quick snack which involves a smoothie and few pick-me-up Fantales (lollies) before jumping on the bike to go do some grocery shopping.

7.00 PM Cook myself a nice dinner and debrief with the housemates about our days.

8.00 PM Leave dinner in the warm oven to go for a run.

9.00 PM Shower and eat my now luke-warm dinner.

9.30 PM Read a little bit of Harry Potter in bed before eventually turning in.