Meet the Team Q&A: John Walker

Meet the Team Q&A: John Walker

Name: John Walker

Role: Director & Electrical Design Engineer

How did you become a building services engineer? 

I was interested in architecture, interiors, physics, engineering and Sound. I didn’t think I had the artistic ability for architecture and because I really enjoyed problem solving I chose engineering. I almost got a job as a sound engineer with the BBC which would have taken my life on a really different path. I started as a trainee electrical building services engineer after leaving school and studied part time eventually getting my degree with the open university.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

The variety in construction keeps you interested. Every project is different and the environment keeps changing. Low carbon buildings have made our role more interesting. Buildings have also become much more technically advanced over the years. One of my other early ambitions was to have my own business and I have achieved that at Hannan Associates. I like being in medium size company because everyone has a real influence rather than being part of a large corporate machine.

Out of all the projects you’ve been involved with have you got a favourite and why?

I don’t really have any favourite projects it’s more about enjoying working in good teams. I have been fortunate to work in situations where the same team has worked together on projects spanning a number of years. The trust and understanding you build with everyone makes the challenges more enjoyable.

How has the industry changed since you first started your career?

When I first started in the industry we were drawing with pens, producing document on typewriters and communicating with the design team using letters in the post. Response times were around 1-2 weeks to get a reply to your letter. The photocopier took up an entire room in the basement and there was no internet, email or mobile phones. MS windows didn’t exist so when you switched on a computer it was just blank screen. I used write software programs for some the calculations we were doing for lighting.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Getting together with friends and family and having a laugh. Food – at home and in restaurants. Outdoor activities – walking, cycling, skiing, open water swimming. Travel – exploring the world and other cultures. Music, Cinema and Art.

If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be?

Working in a cool little bar on a beach somewhere

John Walker

John Walker

Director

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +44(0)161 337 2200

Meet the Team Q&A: Vicky Priestley

Meet the Team Q&A: Vicky Priestley

Name: Vicky Priestley

Role: Business Development & Marketing Manager

How did you get into marketing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and am quite a creative person. I excelled in subjects like English, Drama and languages so when I finished college I chose a subject to study at university that I knew would provide opportunity for creativity but would be practical in terms of entering the world of work. I studied Public Relations with Marketing at UCLAN and loved it!

After leaving university I got a temporary job at Hannans as PA to Bill Hannan, which was a real eye opener into the world of business and construction. There was never a dull moment!

I was asked to stay at Hannans to help with Marketing and 17 years later I am still here. My role at Hannans has evolved and grown with the company over the years and this has kept it interesting and challenging.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

In my role I am given quite a lot of freedom and trust. I am involved in other aspects of the management of the organisation and have always been encouraged to pursue my continued professional development – including obtaining my professional diploma and my chartered status. 

It is amazing seeing new developments reach completion and knowing that your company contributed towards its creation. Especially the larger mixed use regeneration schemes we work on, which truly transform underused and neglected areas into brand new communities. It’s a very exciting industry to be a part of.

Marketing is so important to the Building Services Engineering industry because historically engineers are a bit shy when it comes to talking about themselves and the important work they do – they definitely need a little help in that department.

How has the industry changed since you first started your career?

In terms of the marketing industry, obviously the advancement of digital marketing has been huge and is now at the core of most marketing strategies.

I think when I started at Hannans in 2004 many of the ‘old school’ ways of the property & construction industry had already evolved – there weren’t any cigars in the board room and the typing pool was no more! But when I look back now at where we have come as a company since, I can see that things have changed massively– the advancements in IT and BIM, the increase in awareness and priority of ESG issues (in particular in relation to decarbonisation), the rising importance of the Building Physics department, the increasing sophistication of financial reporting, Manchester City Centre itself…..

Another important change is that it has definitely become clearer to clients that Building Services Engineering is a crucial aspect of effective building design and the M&E consultant needs to be appointed during the very early stages of the project. Especially with the increasing urgency surrounding climate change and net zero carbon.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is the highly social nature of our industry – I guess one of the things we are all missing during COVID.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I live on the outskirts of the city centre so I’m lucky to have plenty of theatre, live music, great bars and restaurants just a short walk away  – one thing I’m missing at the moment. I am a massive foodie and love eating out and cooking at home.

I think like a lot of people during lockdown, exercise has helped massively with maintaining my mental health. I have been enjoying a lot of walking & yoga and have even started running – something I never thought I would see !

If you had a career change what else would you like to do?

Well, I think it would be pretty cool to be a landscape architect or maybe have a little tea room & florist laughing

 

Vicky Priestley

Vicky Priestley

Business Development & Marketing Manager

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +44(0)161 337 2200

Meet the Team Q&A: Juan Carlos

Meet the Team Q&A: Juan Carlos

Name: Juan Carlos

Role: BIM Manager

How did you become a BIM Manager?

When I was a kid, I had always been interested in building services, at school, I was accepted in the computing program and I have been developing my skills since then. During the past 10 years after I came to this country, I was trained as a CAD technician which lead me to Building Modelling World.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Being part of the process of creating and managing information on a construction project across the project lifecycle is very interesting. Converting data into a built asset makes me proud. Also, working for a company whose products improve the lives of thousands and seeing the result of that and knowing that I played a part in the process is very rewarding for me.

Out of all the projects you’ve been involved with have you got a favourite and why?

I have worked on many important projects throughout my career and all projects have been a very exciting test to accomplish. But I especially enjoyed working on Vision Tameside, this project challenged my capability as a BIM technician and pushed me to the next level. It has significant importance for me due to its complexity.

How has the industry changed since you first started your career?

BIM has gradually grown from its origins in BM (Building Modelling) into BI (Building Information) with various combinations of model and data in between. A Building Information model can be viewed as a collection of information in the context of project information. Building Services Industry is now entering the phase where BIM is valued as a whole for the information it can contribute beyond design and construction, and there are clear use scenarios were BIM is a key part of the process.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Becoming a father has been a big step in my life and my kids make me happy. That is why I enjoy spending time with my them and my wife at the beach or the countryside. Sports and activities like football, swimming and cycling allow me to enjoy my free time with my family.

If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be?

I always liked sports in school, but I wasn’t good enough. I would probably be a mechanical engineer, this degree would help me to take my career to the next step.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Team Q&A: Hayley Sheppard

Meet the Team Q&A: Hayley Sheppard

Name: Hayley Sheppard

Role: BREEAM & Sustainability Consultant

How did you become a BREEAM & Sustainability Consultant?

I was interested in the environment. I was brought up in the countryside and as a kid I always noticed things like littering and it upset me. I always had a real sense of wanting to protect the environment.   

I studied Environmental Management and Sustainability at University and my first job out of Uni was for a local company offering Carbon accreditations. This leant itself really well working with companies and assessing their performance in relation to sustainability.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I do enjoy the project management aspect, completing projects and getting certificates is satisfying. I also love seeing innovative technologies and building solutions – it never ceases to amaze me how ingenious humans can be to solve problems. I also love noseying around sites and new buildings before they open to the public!

Out of all the projects you’ve been involved with have you got a favourite and why?

My first BREEAM certificate was quite a special one; it was a new university building in Liverpool so that was memorable. My favourite current project is probably the Ralli Quays office building in Salford. The design team is really proactive and pushing the boundaries with this building and it’s exciting to watch it unfold.

How has the industry changed since you first started your career?

When I did my degrees, the industry was really starting to gain momentum. I would say that is still building and there is so much more ‘noise’ around sustainability, but I’m not sure it’s translating into enough action

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I enjoy being active; riding my horse, mountain biking and walking the dog with my partner, we also love going out for tea!

If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be?

I tried to be a professional horse rider out of college and I wasn’t brave enough! So I’d probably be a psychologist. I am very interested in mental health and do believe it is intrinsically linked to achieving a sustainable society.

Hayley Sheppard

Hayley Sheppard

BREEAM & Sustainability Consultant

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +44(0)161 337 2200

Meet the Team Q&A: Tom Cutt

Meet the Team Q&A: Tom Cutt

Name: Tom Cutt

Role: Mechanical Design Engineer

Years at Hannans: 5

How did you become a building services engineer?

During my time at school and college I worked in a garage assisting with car repairs and services, as I had always wanted to own and maintain my own classic car. Alongside my interest in mechanics and how things work, I found myself performing better in science-based subjects, which meant a degree in Mechanical Engineering was the ideal course.

After completing my degree, I returned to work as a bar supervisor whilst searching for permanent jobs. My employer had previously run an engineering firm and he recommended Hannan’s. After making initial contact, I was invited to two interviews and started with Hannan soon after.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I find it really satisfying to get involved on a project at an early stage and develop the M&E strategies, begin to present these on drawings, then see the various services installed as drawn when the project advances to construction phases.

Out of all the projects you’ve been involved with have you got a favourite and why?

The majority of my experience stems from the commercial and residential sectors and of these projects one of my favourites has been the Oakfield 4 development, which is currently under construction at Cheadle Royal Business Park.

The building is modest in size, however the design team have had to overcome a number of challenges as a result of some tenant specific requirements. The proposed tenant is a prestigious American multi-national chemical corporation, who will use the building as their new UK headquarters and incorporates research & development facilities.

How has the industry changed since you first started your career?

Even in the relatively short time I’ve been in the industry; there has been a significant shift towards BIM protocol and Revit, which helps in co-ordinating with other disciplines early on in the design stages of a project.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

In my spare time I try to keep active both in the gym and by running. I also play rugby and (try to play) golf.

If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be?

If I wasn’t an engineer; I would have liked to join one of the armed forces.  

 

 

Thomas Cutt

Thomas Cutt

Mechanical Design Engineer

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +44(0)161 337 2200