Updating Results

BMD

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Nikolas Green

The feeling of satisfaction you receive upon reaching a cost effective, positive solution for the team, that is going to result in significant profits to the project is incredibly rewarding.

nikolas green on site

What's your job about?

I’m currently working in the capacity of a graduate civil engineer on four separate subdivision projects, with the responsibilities of procurement, programming, quality management, document control and end of month claims.

Every day is different depending on what stage and what kind of project you are working on. As a project lifecycle develops, my daily responsibilities change. For example, in the beginning, all the start-up documentation and the subcontractor comparisons need to be completed, whereas in the end, it is generally about compiling quality documentation and project handover. I work under the guidance of a project engineer to ensure that everything required is in place, all works are commercially viable, and the program is being achieved.

What's your background?

I was born in Sydney and moved to the Sunshine Coast when I was 8. I graduated from school in 2014 and the next month I moved to the Gold Coast, where I had a gap year working behind the bar at BMD Northcliffe Surf Club and competed for the club. The gap year allowed me to refresh from finishing school and motivated me to strive to achieve once university started the following year. I started at Griffith in 2016, completing a double degree in civil engineering and business management in 2020, and for the last 2.5 years of uni I worked for BMD part-time as an undergraduate. This time allowed me to develop my knowledge and gain a greater understanding of what an engineer is responsible for. Following graduation, I was offered a full-time Graduate role and I chose to move to Brisbane to be closer to my projects. Working in the Urban division of BMD, your work location is regularly changing due to the shorter nature of the projects. One piece of advice I have for soon to be graduates is to live somewhere central to the business, to minimise your daily travel time.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Perhaps the most important tool of a civil engineer’s skillset is the ability to breakdown a problem and determine the most cost effective and efficient solution for the specific circumstance. As such, different perspectives, stemming from diverse backgrounds/experiences are highly important as they will allow you to arrive at different solutions. Therefore, it is not only possible but extremely beneficial to assemble engineering/construction teams with people from differing backgrounds.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

One of my favourite aspects of the job is the continued education and on-the-job learning you are constantly receiving as a civil site engineer. University is a great tool in preparing you to critically break down a problem and work through to a beneficial solution. However, the majority of my day-to-day activities utilise the skills I have learnt on the project, as every day I am exposed to the many problems that are constantly arising in the construction environment. The feeling of satisfaction you receive upon reaching a cost effective, positive solution for the team, that is going to result in significant profits to the project is incredibly rewarding.

What are the limitations of your job?

  1. Responsibility is slowly pressed upon a graduate as you develop your skillset, knowledge and experience. Initially you will be placed underneath the guidance of a more experienced engineer which will allow you to witness the daily responsibilities and decisions that need to be made. Once your manager is confident you are competent, they will step back to allow you to make the decisions, however remain in contact for any queries that you are guaranteed to have.
  2. I very rarely work on a weekend unless there is an important item that I didn’t get to during the week. Otherwise, I generally “turn off” from work to relax and recoup. Physically, you are on site a lot, exposed to the heat and long hours, however an engineer does very little manual handling.
  3. The biggest limitation I have found working in the urban sector is being able to successfully deliver positive outcomes across multiple projects simultaneously. You will be placed on multiple projects, and it is essential to be able to keep them separate and ensure that all requirements are met on each.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. There are many different types of civil engineering. First you need to understand exactly what you want to do and what pathways you want to follow. Consulting/design, which is the majority of your engineering degree, differs from the work the project delivery team does and again for the estimators. Understand exactly what you want to do and then go after it.
  2. Construction has long hours and you can often be expected to do 10 hours or more a day. However, if you are happy to work hard and have a thirst for continuing to learn and develop your knowledge, then there is plenty of room for growth and improvement within the industry.
  3. Third, the civil industry isn’t for the soft hearted. The construction industry is fast-paced and at times there will be a need for heated conversations but if you align with your company’s values and aren’t afraid to give it a go, then you are in the right place.