What is your background?
I am a French graduate. I started with BYCA in June 2018. Before that, I graduated from a Master’s Degree in Geotechnics and Geology and I completed a 6-month internship with Bouygues Private Construction in Paris as a Site Engineer.
What does your job at BYCA consist of?
I’m a site engineer at NorthConnex, a 9km motorway tunnel project at the north of Sydney. My role is to plan and coordinate the day-to-day construction activities in conjunction with the site foreman and senior site engineers. I am working on the permanent ventilation buildings and I also follow up on the works for the mechanical and electrical systems.
I am also in charge of cost control and budgeting. In addition, I am in direct contact with subcontractors and design teams to develop installation methods which require a certain level of pre-planning. I am also in touch with other teams and departments as I am interested in having an overview of the project as a whole.
Prior to starting site works, it is necessary to ensure that quality and safety procedures are set up, and part of my role is to manage the relevant documentation. Safety is the number one engineering priority as work on a construction site can be dangerous if not planned and coordinated. A site engineer must always live by the “safety first” rule.
What makes you the most excited about your job?
What I like the most is to be involved in the development of cities, by taking part in projects that have an impact on people’s daily life and travels, such as building roads, bridges, tunnels… To me, we are able to improve their quality of life through teamwork. I also enjoy applying my existing knowledge to solve technical issues.
I learn something new every day and because I’m working across many different sub-projects, no day feels the same. This work is challenging and rewarding on both personal and professional levels. It makes me want to surpass myself.
How you would describe your experience?
It's an incredible opportunity to be able to work on such a huge project. I was quickly handed over responsibilities and I liked that! I strongly recommend it. As a construction engineer, I developed a wide array of skills, such project management, planning, organisation, quality and safety management, procurement and cost control, monitoring of daily activities, teamwork and communications skills. I also learned a lot about technical/ design aspects.
What’s it like to be working in Australia as a French person?
The opportunity to travel and work abroad is part of the Bouygues culture. Working in Australia is a bit different from France but not so much. The first major difference is language and culture. People here are more friendly and relaxed and I enjoy working with people from different cultures, skills and background. Communication is less direct than in France. Moreover, because of the size of the country, projects in Australia are much bigger. I have more independence and less supervision to manage my scope.
Any advice for your younger self back when you were a student?
Believe in yourself, you are the only one to know what you want and what you are capable of! Don’t be afraid to try new things or to fail. It will make you evolve and learn.
The only limit to your goals is you so work hard and remember that you can do anything you set your mind to. Each experience is an enrichment. I’m here because I always trusted myself and my goals.