Spotlight: Marc Wiggin, Structural Engineer
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
I used to be a part-time soldier! I was an army reservist with the Royal Corps of Signals, where I learned to shoot a rifle safely, conduct army Physical Training sessions and set up radio masts to communicate with people all over the world!
Tell us about your career journey so far
In my engineering journey I have worked in structural integrity (making sure existing structures are in good condition and are strong enough to take a proposed extension), design and fabrication of those extensions (called Brownfield engineering), and I’ve also had a hand in designing the subsea pipelines that join the new extension back into the pipeline system on the seabed.
What was your favourite subject in school and why?
Maths, because numbers always made sense to me, I was good at answering questions and I knew it would be really useful to me when I left school.
What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?
I have Maths and Physics A-Levels, which form a large part of the foundations of structural engineering theory.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
When I get to go and see something I’ve designed get built and talk to people about what would be better next time.
What is a normal day in your role like?
Normally I would be sat at a computer doing structural modelling or design calculations. Sometimes we have project meetings where we discuss scheduling and progress or discuss a particular detail with other disciplines like piping or construction. If necessary, I visit fabricators to talk them through a particular structure and answer any queries they may have.
Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?
The Institute of Civil Engineers (www.ice.org.uk) and Institute of Structural Engineers (www.istructe.org) are the two main UK-based bodies governing structural engineering. There are a lot of interesting case studies on their websites.