ExpertiseDesign, Project Management, Geotechnical
Graduated from Imperial College London
Getting chartered with the ICE in 2001
Having the courage to set up Geofirma Ltd Geotechnical Consultancy six years ago
A day in my life
Wake up at 5.30am.
Prepare to do list for me and my team.
Prepare important emails to be issued later in the day.
Help get the kids ready for school.
Go to gym on those good days.
Answer incoming emails which can be dealt with quickly. Leave others for next morning.
Team meeting – discuss ongoing and upcoming projects and assist with any technical issues.
Start working on projects that require my input – reports, reviewing team members work, and direct calculations.
Phone calls to clients – discuss quotes we’ve sent out and how we can further help our clients.
Undertake site visits in afternoon if required.
Spend time with my children before they go to bed.
Review days output and get ready for tomorrow.
Off to bed for 10pm (that’s my aim).
I get to meet all types of people – everyday people, skilled site operatives, fellow designers, architects, developers – as they say, no two days are really the same.
Which individual project or person inspired you to become a civil engineer?
My father. He wasn’t a civil engineer, but he was in the construction industry and that exposed me to the work of civil engineers.
We asked Ebenezer…
I would recommend a career in civil engineering because…
You can make the career what you want because it involves a combination of everything. I love the variety.
My work life includes a bit of everything, business development, client care, training delivery, mentoring, quoting, calculations, writing reports and going onsite.
I meet all types of people – everyday people, skilled site operatives, fellow designers, architects, developers – as they say, no two days are really the same.
What’s the biggest/most complex thing you’ve made out of Lego? How long did it take you?
A Ninjago figure with my sons! They are much better than me with Lego.
Complete this phrase: I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also…
I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also a people person. I find people fascinating because everyone is different, and you can learn something new from everyone.
What about being a civil engineer gets you out of bed each morning?
The variety and the fact that today will be different from yesterday. Doing the same thing every day bores me.
What’s one great thing that you love about civil engineering that you didn’t know until you started working in the industry?
The importance of teamwork – and how everyone has something they can excel at. You just have t help them find that thing.
Which civil engineering project (past or present) do you wish you’d worked on?
Working on Big Ben would’ve been great.
Name one civil engineering myth you’d like to bust.
That civil engineers lack people skills and are poor communicators.
What motivated you to become professionally qualified?
It was an opportunity to show that I had developed a certain level of competence in my specialist areas to my peer.
My ICE review was rather unusual because at the time I was the only geotechnical engineer in the room – my reviewers were a structural and water engineer!
What does being professionally qualified with the ICE mean for your career?
It’s given me the confidence to sell myself as an expert in my civil engineering specialism. When I meet new clients, it serves as a starting point to prove I have the competence to deliver. It helps get a foot in the door.
What’s the best thing about being professionally qualified with the ICE?
Being able to contribute back to the industry. I’m involved in various committees (Ground Forum, FPS, RoGEP etc) and initiatives which are invariably linked to the ICE in one way or the other.
Also being able to use the resource and library facilities at One Great George Street – a great base for the days when I have meetings in central London.
How did the ICE and your employer support you to become professionally qualified?
My employer at the time entered all graduates working for the company on a structured ICE training programme and provided all graduates with a training budget.
What do you value most about being an ICE member?
The networking events and the use of One Great George Street.
How has being a member helped your career?
Provided networking and CPD opportunities.
I'm passionate about increasing diversity and representation of under-represented groups in the ground engineering industry.
I love going to the gym, watching films, socialising with friends, spending time with family – I have two wonderful sons under 10 who keep me going.
Ebenezer's career path
- A-levels in maths, chemistry and physics – John Ruskin College Sixth Form College, Selsdon in 1990
- Civil engineering degree – Imperial College London
- Soil Mechanics and Environmental Geotechnics Degree – Imperial College London
- Geotechnical engineer at Posford Duvivier (Now Royal Haskoning) – Peterborough
- Geotechnical engineer at Faber Maunsell (Now AECOM) – St Albans
- Senior geotechnical engineer at Skanska Technology – Maple Cross
- Technical consultant at Cementation Skanska – Maple Cross
- Specialist geotechnical/foundations consultant for various companies including Worley Parson, Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering, MWH (now Scantec), Keltbray
- Founder and owner at Geofirma Ltd Geotechnical Consultants
- Engineering insight: economy of design
- Design of the Trimley Marshes Managed Retreat
- Design of phase 3 basement bored pile and sheet pile retaining walls
- Design of the Stratford Box Land Raise CTRL230
- Design of foundations and basement box for largest modular buildings in UK - Ten Degrees and College Road in Croydon