Grant Plain joined the Practice in 2013 after achieving a Masters of Science degree in Contaminant Hydrogeology from The University of Sheffield. He is an environmental scientist in the land quality and contamination team at CampbellReith’s Surrey office, where he quickly became a valuable member of staff.
After winning the Ground Engineering “Young Geoenvironmental Engineer of the Year Award” in 2015, he is now a candidate for the Ground Engineering Rising Star of the year Award.
- Did you expect to be shortlisted after recently winning the GE Young Geo-environmental Engineer of the Year Award?
I was automatically shortlisted due to my recent award (GE Next Generation Young Geo-environmental Engineer of the Year 2015), along with the other candidates who won in the various categories.
- How did you end up in engineering?
An interest in science and engineering I believe started at Primary School after a Victorian themed visit to one of Sheffield’s (former) steel works! Subsequently growing up I choose to study science and engineering subjects at school, College and ultimately University. Science and engineering is fundamental and underpins our society and how we are able to function and go about our day to day lives. It is something I think we all take for granted and society does not reward engineers proportionally as say bankers and footballers do, for example. Balancing this disproportion is something my generation should be working to rectify.
- How did you find out about CampbellReith before joining?
I was not aware of CampbellReith prior to joining but definitely feel in recent years the Practice has made great progress in making the CampbellReith brand more well-known in the industry and feel we are on the cusp of something very exciting.
- What is the biggest challenge you have had to face during your experience in CampbellReith?
The biggest challenge for me has been learning about the various disciplines that make up the services that CampbellReith consult on, for example, I had no idea how the structures department even begin the design process of a building, never mind what a virendeel girder is – I am learning everyday!
- What skills (both natural and learnt through study) have been essential to develop your career as an environmental scientist/engineer?
CampbellReith encourages junior members of staff to lead and manage their own projects which has accelerated my development as an Environmental Scientist. The phrase ‘at the coalface’ definitely applies here and I have been able to make design decisions with the Client and wider Project Team on numerous occasions to find an appropriate solution to constraints and challenges.
I have also been actively encouraged to attend courses and seminars to broaden and deepen my understanding of Geo-environmental Engineering and related subjects (such as Geotechnical Engineering). This forms an important part of my CPD and dictates (together with project experience) how I go about my chartership.
- What is your impression of CampbellReith as a young employee?
The graduate programme at CampbellReith is one that is both supportive and highly rewarding. Perhaps one of the most important parts of the programme is that you are actively encouraged to manage your own projects from inception to completion and attend meetings with the Client and various members of the Project Team, which I feel is essential for professional development as a young employee.
CampbellReith is a friendly, dynamic and vibrant consultancy which I feel is important to my development not only professionally but personally also. The CampbellReith SocialClub is a key part to this and the majority of staff often get to together for various events across the country.