Muhammad Talha

Muhammad Talha

Design Manager Riyadh Metro/ICE country representative for KSA (Saudi Arabia)

Country: Saudia Arabia

Specialisms: Design, construction, project management

Career highlights

A day in my life

My day starts at 8am and finishes around 6.30pm.

I start with checking my workflows on a data portal which is used by the contractor. This is where all design submissions are shared with all stakeholders. I check what design submissions have been made and then review these with comments. I usually spend the early hours of the day reviewing these and issuing my comments on the same data portal.

Around midday I spend time with my team members and discuss daily progress and issues.

After midday, I report to my managers and highlight to them daily progress on the project. I attend numerous design meetings in the remaining part of the day and liaise with multi-disciplinary teams of engineering managers, including the Transit, Project Control, Document Control, Contractual, Legal, Risk, Interface and Operations & Maintenance, to ensure all design synergies are captured and addressed.

I supervise a multi-disciplinary team of engineers to lead the management of the design which includes the thorough review of contractor’s design for a complex rail project. The work includes reviewing the basis of design, geotechnical information, permitting procedures, drawings, reports, specifications and all other work necessary in assuring a fully operational rail system that meets all client`s and project requirements including schedule, quality and safety standards.

Another career defining project was working on the Birmingham PFI project which covers a huge variety of work to improve and maintain Birmingham’s roads and public infrastructure.

Muhammad in front of one of Ridyah's metro trains

Muhammad in front of one of Ridyah's metro trains

My career inspiration

Individuals who inspired me:

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Fazul Rahman Khan

Gustave Eiffel

Projects that inspired me:

London Underground

Great Western railways

Sears Towers 

Eiffel Tower

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I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also ... A bassist and music composer

Muhammad Talha

Design Manager Riyadh Metro

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

The civil engineering myth I’d like to bust

Civil engineers can command handsome remuneration packages.

The key is to diversify your skills and build upon your experiences.

I’d recommend a career in civil engineering because

Civil engineers are the comfort providers. It’s the mother of all engineering disciplines.

There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your own design getting built on site. It’s an amazing feeling when you drive around a city, street or road and see a building or bridge which you’ve designed.

Civil engineering offers a very diverse range of opportunities. Civil engineers have a major responsibility and they play a vital role in infrastructure development and maintenance.

What gets me out of bed every morning?

Every day is a new challenge and the feeling that my actions and decisions have a direct impact on the public realm.

The project (past or present) I wish I’d worked on

Eiffel Tower and Burj Khalifa.

Education

After finishing school, I studied basic engineering in a college for two years (equivalent to A levels) and then pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering.

After working for a few years, I decided to specialise and completed my master's in steel structures.

Post-graduation, I started working in highway structures and bridges. I was put on a training agreement with ICE by my employer. I was training to become a Chartered civil engineer and I had to gain diverse experience to achieve that.

It took me about five years to complete my training and get my membership with ICE.

To become a good civil engineer, you need both design and construction experience. You also need good business skills to become a good manager who can deliver on time and cost.

The most complex thing I’ve made out of Lego

A F-16 fighter Jet aircraft when I was in school. It took me a day.

I want to become a civil engineer.

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