Vincent Ly – Graduate Civil Engineer

Vincent Ly – Graduate Civil Engineer

What does your morning routine look like now? First I spend 10 minutes doing morning workouts before having breakfast. Before starting work I check for my emails either from WA or client company. In addition, I also like to check calendar for today’s activities and also search on the ICE/Innovate/or CIRIA websites for any webinars of interest I can fit within my schedule. A brief look on the BBC headlines/sports to get up to date with the daily goings on (and hopefully when the Prem League resumes). Finally I end my morning with a daily Microsoft Teams meeting to catch up with my colleagues and gain any development on changes to work.

Where is your home office? At the moment I’m currently working from my parents’ home in Liverpool. I split my day between work and caring for my family.

What’s on the menu for lunch? My dad cooks for the family during the weekdays whilst I’m at work and my sister has got her final university exams. Generally it’s Cantonese style home cuisine so varies but always consists of rice, vegetables and accommodating protein.

What work are you currently involved in? I’m currently seconded to Kier Highways contracted under Highways England for drainage work. Primarily my work focuses on ensuring trunk roads drainage assets are currently up to standard and are able to remove highway runoff into the nearby drainage system effectively to maintain safety and remove nuisance to the road user. In addition, it is just as important that the runoff removed from the highway will reach its destination whether that be an outfall into a watercourse or soakaway and that the water is within environmental limits as specified by the Environment Agency. This ensures it doesn’t pose a pollution risk and doesn’t have an adverse effect on the local environment and ecology as well as not posing a flood risk to the road users or adjacent landowners.

Best bit about remote working? My office is within my bedroom (literally 2m from my bed) which makes a change from my daily commute of 40 miles to either Kettering/Mansfield from Leicester. However despite the tendency for a lie in; I still maintain my regular morning routine such as getting up at the usual time I used to for my typical commute. As mentioned I have my dad who makes all my lunches which makes a change from when lunches were usually leftovers reheated so all my lunches are fresh and having my dad (who throughout his career was an executive chef having worked a number of restaurants around the UK) is a blessing. Finally the casual attire is a sweet bonus which saves me having to get dressed in the morning and just generally makes work a more relaxing and engaging environment for me personally.

Worst bit about remote working? Definitely missing the office environment namely my co-workers. In my opinion it’s the key factor for making your daily work enjoyable whether that is working with them along various projects or just simply having a catch-up over lunch/coffee breaks. Secondly whilst it can be demonstrated working from home allows work to continue for our client, it has proven difficult due to IT issues and whilst it’s is still possible to discuss and share work via Teams it still doesn’t have the same productivity or learning effect as working within the office environment. In addition site visits are a key component for any project as they allow you to get a better visual understanding as there is only so much you can do from a desktop, obviously with the lockdown measures in place work can only be done to a limiting extent.

What do you do for your one bit of exercise each day? Living within a busy and vulnerable household I usually make shopping/medical runs in between or after work so that takes up my daily walks. In addition I’m an active runner and usually do training sessions at my local park or long runs around Liverpool. Whilst I’ve always been an active runner I’ve only recently joined Strava and this has been a useful tool tracking my runs and corresponding stats as well as seeing how all my friends are running throughout the UK.

What is the first place you will go when lockdown is over? Pub!

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