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Tim Fitch

Age: 39, operations manager (Rail), Cementation Foundations Skanska

Route to the job
I studied Civil Engineering at Salford University and then went to Imperial College for a Masters in Soil Mechanics. I Joined Cementation in 1987 as contracts engineer covering London and worked my way up to managing medium sized piling contracts. I became chartered through ICE in 1991, got promoted to project manager and started working on bigger projects, including a posting to Mexico City to manage piling works at the Hilton Hotel. I became involved in Cementation's rail business in 1995, which was then separated out as a new business stream, with me as operations manager, in 1999. This business has now been growing at 24% per annum. Our first Framework Agreement was formed in 2003 with Tube Lines. As part of this team we have developed an alliance arrangement with consultant Mott MacDonald

Typical day
A typical day involves meetings with internal teams and clients. It can involve a fair amount of travelling, although video conference has improved this situation.

Highs and lows
Seeing the team succeed is a high. As for the lows, it's basically down to the vicissitudes of the rail market, which makes business planning and forecasting a challenge.

Ambitions
To move into a broader business development role within the Skanska group.

Advice
Concentrate in your early career in gaining a broad knowledge of foundations and general civil engineering. Don't ever stop developing yourself.