Jack Rose

Jack Rose

Senior consultant at BuroHappold

Country UK and Saudi Arabia

Specialisms Cities strategic planning, design, project management

Career highlights

My working day

At the moment I have no fixed routine in my days, which suits me rather well. I also live in Riyadh – a long way from home.

I’m no early riser, but I find that to avoid the worst of the Riyadh traffic madness, I do have to drive because until the metro opens, there’s very little in the way of public transport here.

I work very closely with our client so most of my days are spent responding to their needs, around which I have to fit the work I have to do for that.

My role requires me to be in almost constant communication with people here and in our offices back in the UK, so on any given day I can be talking with different experts, a part of my job that I enjoy.

Sometimes, when the heat is not torturous, I sit in the sun…and enjoy a falafel.

My career inspiration

My maths teacher. I was going to study mechanical engineering – and he convinced me that the maths in civil engineering was more challenging. I don’t think this is true, but I was also a maths geek at the time… so that’s why I did it.

Jack and team on site in Saudi Arabia

Jack and team on site in Saudi Arabia


I’m a civil engineer but I’m also ...

Hard question – because my career is a very big part of my life. Other than my hobbies and interests, I’d like to add “entrepreneur” to the end of that sentence. Or “writer”.

Jack Rose

Senior consultant at BuroHappold

What I love about being a civil engineer (that I didn’t know before I became one)

Bridges! Who knew bridges were ‘civil engineering’? I didn’t! As a discipline, it’s probably the purest form of engineering, and as we all know, it takes a lot of effort to make things look good and simple.  

The civil engineering myth I’d like to bust

It’s not just about concrete and bricks. It’s about people, governance, water, energy, science, technology, politics, economics, finance... and the million and one other things that Jane and Joe Bloggs out there won’t appreciate.

Also, not all civil engineers are obsessed with Lego.

I’d recommend a career in civil engineering because

It’s one of the great professions! Just as you can’t define what a society is, you also can’t define what a civil engineer is – because we’re involved in virtually every part of our society.

At times, this requires us to be sociologists, at times economists… but always underpinned by the strength and discipline of the sciences. And great things can – and have been – achieved, in civil engineering and beyond.  

The project, past or present, I wish I'd worked on

The pyramids at Giza. Think of them whenever you think that we’ve never been as advanced as we are today…  

What gets me out of bed every morning?

Breakfast. Food first; profession second. And after that, it’s knowing that I can make a genuinely positive contribution to the lives of people. Whether it’s clean water, or a smooth ride to work, this matters.  


I had no real designs on higher education. So I joined the Army, and it helped me find a path, through scholarships, to college and eventually university. Never looked back.

I want to become a civil engineer.

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