New Directors Appointed

Bill Brown and Nick Groves, founding Directors of Romsey based WFBA consulting civil and structural engineers, have promoted from within and appointed 3 new Directors to the company.   Alastair Craig joined the consultancy 3 years ago as a Technical Director and has now been appointed a Director.  Alastair is also the current Regional Chairman of the Institution of Structural Engineers.  Brian Morton and Patrick Fisher have been promoted to Technical Directors to help manage the now 32 strong team of qualified professionals and support staff.

 “We are delighted to offer these promotions to ensure the foundations of WFBA remain strong and are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead” said Bill Brown.  “We now have an experienced and dynamic leadership team that are well prepared to take the business forward through the next phases of our development, we are very optimistic about the future”

 The company has just entered its 25th year and has achieved it highest recorded annual turnover since its creation. Clients of the business operate across a broad range of market sectors which include Commercial, Residential, Education, Hotel and Leisure, Refurbishment, Marine and Compliance/Expert Witness.

 

(From Left) Bill Brown, Brian Morton, Alastair Craig, Patrick Fisher and Nick Groves

 

Highest Turnover Achieved

Currently reaching their highest recorded turnover to date (exceeding £1.60m) with a fantastic range of construction projects to work on, Nick Groves, one of the founding directors of Romsey based WFBA consulting civil and structural engineers, expects the construction industry to remain buoyant in the south once the reality of Brexit and the implications are known.  He is confident that most of the projects delayed by some investors will be given the green light for construction once positivity is regained.

 “Our investment in qualified people has continued and we now have our largest team since the business started in 1995, currently numbering 32 with an additional 2  engineers to join next month.  The demand we are facing is from many market sectors including Commercial (office, retail, manufacturing and warehousing) , Residential, Education, Hotel and Leisure, Refurbishment and Marine related projects, and as our capability has expanded so has the scale of the projects we are able to handle.”

 Despite the pressures on available land, WFBA has consulted on more residential projects this year for companies including Bargate Homes, McCarthy and Stone and Travelodge across Southern England, as well as projects for Port and Marine owners, including ABP and MDL. The company also provides independent forensic investigations to determine if mistakes have been made, either during the design or construction phases of a  project when it has become subject to a legal dispute.

 The professional team at WFBA continue to play a major part within the Southern Regional Group of The Institution of Structural Engineers and support the work of Portsmouth University as it encourages apprenticeship degrees within many sectors of the construction industry.

 
Nick Groves, one of the founding directors of Romsey based WFBA consulting civil and structural engineers

Nick Groves, one of the founding directors of Romsey based WFBA consulting civil and structural engineers

 

Degree Apprenticeships Encouraged

The government subsidised Degree Apprenticeship schemes need to be embraced more by the construction industry in the region according to Steve Hollick, the Technical Director of Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering firm WFBA.  Degree Apprentice schemes are available for a multitude of professions within the industry and only require a 5% contribution from most SME companies, which is very cost efficient for both employer and employee (who pay no fees!).  WFBA are taking the opportunity to support 2 part time degree students from their team this year to attend one day a week courses at University of Portsmouth to become chartered engineers.  Steve Hollick and his fellow directors are also encouraging their industry contacts to discuss the options offered with Omar Lakhssassi, Business Development Executive for Degree Apprenticeships at the University.

 “From our point of view, the incentive to upskill our engineering team is very strong and we are impressed with the syllabus, course content and the high standard of the lecturers we have met at the University,” said Steve Hollick.  “We co-host the Southern Construction and Property Breakfast Club and so actively encourage Omar to meet many of the leading construction industry decision makers to help get the importance of the degree apprenticeships that benefit the industry.”

 Omar Lakhssassi is hoping to raise awareness that the government currently subsidise 95% of Apprentice course fees so companies could sponsor a full degree for as little as £2500.

 “We are committed to giving support to the industry through courses covering Project Management, Quantity Surveying, Architecture and  Civil Engineering.  There should be no excuse not to enhance the skills of the region’s construction industry professionals,” said Omar Lakhssassi.

 WFBA has supported the University’s Architectural Students on a monthly basis with Alastair Craig, who is a Technical Director and also Chairman of the Southern Regional Group of The Institution of Structural Engineers by providing practical advice on design projects.   WFBA also encourages any students interested in a career in Civil Engineering to visit their offices to meet their team of 25 professionals to get a greater understanding of the work involved on projects on a day to day basis.

 Any company requiring more information on Degree Apprenticeships can contact omar.lakhssassi@port.ac.uk

 

 

Omar Lakhssassi with Steve Hollick at the University of Portsmouth

 

Alastair Becomes Regional Institution Of Structural Engineers Chairman

The Winchester Guildhall was the venue for the appointment of the Institution of Structural Engineers new Chairman of the Southern Regional Group. Alastair Craig, Technical Director Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering firm WFBA has taken the chair for the next 2 years of the institute that has membership of over 900 professional engineers in the region and works closely with universities in the region to encourage career development. 

The Institution has over 28,000 members working in 105 countries around the world and is an internationally recognised source of expertise and information concerning all issues that involve structural engineering and public safety within the built environment.  The core work of the Institution is supporting and protecting the profession of structural engineering by upholding professional standards and acting as an international voice on behalf of structural engineers. 

Both the President Joe Kindregan, who flew in from Dublin, and Saprava Bhattacharya the outgoing Regional Chairman congratulated Alastair on his new appointment. 

“During my tenure as Chairman I am keen to strengthen our relationships with local Universities and assist in improving the pathway from education to industry,” said Alastair Craig “Beyond that I would like to improve the support we offer our recently graduated engineers in preparation for their professional exams.  We have a new and enthusiastic committee and I look forward to concentrating our energy in these areas over the next year.” 

For the last 2 years WFBA has supported  Alastair’s has supported Architectural Students at Portsmouth University by providing practical advice on design project on a monthly basis.  During each visit Alastair has the opportunity to demonstrate the key role structural engineers play in the development of a building and how an architect can make best use of that experience and expertise.

 

Photo Caption: (from left) Outgoing Chairman Saprava Bhattacharya, Institute President Joe Kindregan and WFBA’s Alastair Craig