Date: 28th November 2019

Curtins Host Inspiring Women’s Day for School Girls across Merseyside

Yesterday Curtins brought together 100 schoolgirls, from eight Merseyside schools, to hear seven women share their experiences working in male-dominated environments.

With contributions from Everton FC, EY, Brabners LLP and Curtins, the key messages were clear: You have choices, you have opportunities and you are enough.

Each company involved has an impressive track record of contributing to events in their communities that empower young women and promote social values. Collaborating on this event was something that resonated with the values of each organisation.

Commonwealth boxing champion, radio DJ and #PavetheWay founder Stacey Copeland hosted the event. She shared her experience of growing up in a sporting world when the female competition was illegal. Stacey’s passion and drive shine through in abundance, and she now tours the country delivering talks at schools to ensure attitudes to gender balance continue to change for the better.

Curtins Structural Engineer Niamh McCloskey spoke of her journey to engineering as a career choice, and the barriers she faced along the way. Niamh shared her view on the importance of role models; both looking for them, and the responsibility of being one.

Our speakers from Everton FC were Alison Haynes and Rachael Lomax. Alison is the Director of Tax at the football club and has had a long, varied and successful career in accountancy and taxation. She recalled several decades’ experience of encountering glass ceilings and the impact that had. She reminded the girls in the room how far things have come, highlighting their fortunate position having increased access to choice. Alison implored them not to waste that choice, and to pursue what is right for them.

Rachael gave a poignant speech about her journey to Everton FC where she is now the club’s Access Advisor. Rachael began her career as a Clinical Psychologist before a traumatic event led to her questioning whether that was how she wanted to spend the rest of her life. She went back to basics, worked out what sparked joy and realised she had to pursue her passion for helping people. Rachael spoke fervently about her current role and the impact she has on fans visiting Goodison, giving the students insight into a different side of football.

Michelle Mullany from EY talked about her experience working for a financial consultancy and having no direct role in finance herself. As a Business Development Manager, she encouraged the students to look beyond the obvious business roles and to have the confidence to pursue a job based on the skills they can bring to the role, not only the experience required. Michelle also recapped alternative routes to jobs beyond traditional degree access.

Brabners LLP is a law practice with nearly 100 years of history, but with a firm view on the future. Their contributors to the event were Joanne Radcliffe and Siu Yin Ho. Joanne focused on her experience overcoming challenges and succeeding in business as someone from an underprivileged background. She implored the girls to reject labels and instead create their own narrative and personal brand, suggesting that the skills they are picking up now can be applied to their future careers. Siu shared her journey into law; how she overcame various barriers to embark on a successful career in the legal profession as someone from a BAME background.

The day was one of positivity, encouragement and inspiration where each speaker brought a spark of something new, whilst echoing themes from others.

We hope that each student took something away with them. They may not recognise what resonated for a week, a year or even a decade after, but seeing what could be – through the eyes of some of the finest role models in industry – is a powerful message that Curtins were delighted to be able to deliver through this fantastic event.

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Curtins welcomes Janice Smith as director in Scotland

Date: 11th January 2021

Curtins welcomes Janice Smith as director in Scotland

Janice Smith, formerly of Stantec, is appointed as head of Scotland branches

We are delighted to announce that Janice Smith, with 20 years’ experience as a qualified civil and structural engineer, has joined our team as our new director of the Scotland region.

Janice’s appointment has begun the region’s transition from leadership under Executive Director, Phil Richardson, who is due to retire in the spring after almost four decades in the industry.

The new position sees Janice heading up our teams in Glasgow and Edinburgh, whilst working from our Edinburgh office on Belford Road.

Janice is supported by Paul Porter (Edinburgh) and Gordon McPherson (Glasgow), who have accumulated over 35 years with Curtins between them.

Janice said: “I have lived and worked in this beautiful part of the country for many years and I’ve become increasingly aware of Curtins’ positive impact on Scotland’s built landscape. I’m delighted to have become part of their story.

“There are certainly challenges ahead of us this year, but through Curtins long-lasting partnerships with clients, coupled with an ability to deliver both multimillion-pound schemes and the attention to detail required for smaller projects, I am confident that the business will continue to see success in 2021.

“I am looking forward to building on the relationships that will bring about this growth and stability.”

During Janice’s time at Stantec she contributed to transformative projects in Scotland. They include the library refurbishment and Tennis Centre for Heriot-Watt University, feasibility for The University of Edinburgh’s Main library and The Advanced Forming Research Centre for the University of Strathclyde.

Prior to that Smith provided expertise on landmark projects including the V&A Museum in Dundee.

Early in her new role, Smith will oversee Curtins’ continuing involvement in projects that include the new Nucleus Hub at The University of Edinburgh, the Cancer Bridging Project at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital and Boclair Academy in Bearsden. Her role will also oversee the Integrated Ophthalmology Unit and three-storey extension, which accommodates six orthopaedic operating theatres, at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank.

Phil Richardson, executive director said: “In the 23 years that I’ve had the privilege of being part of the Curtins team, the business has come a long way.

“I joined the Edinburgh office in 1997 with the young Rob Melling, who has since become our Chief Executive in Liverpool, and we’ve seen Curtins grow from 11 offices in the early nineties to 14 today. This expansion has included Curtins new office in Glasgow in 2016, as a reflection of the growing market in Scotland.

“Janice brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and leadership to Curtins and I am delighted that she is joining the team.”

As a SER certifier, Smith possesses experience certifying a wide range of structures across the residential, commercial and education sectors. These include new build projects as well as alterations, refurbishments and extensions to existing properties.

Her broad sector and project experience compliments Curtins’ portfolio of projects, which range in value from £1M to £300M.

Executive Director at Curtins, Neil Parkinson adds: “Janice joins us at an extremely important time for Curtins. She brings extensive knowledge of the region and an ambition to build Curtins’ reputation in the area. I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits of her approach.”

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Lee Barnett is Guest Speaker at Graitec Roundtable

Date: 14th December 2020

Lee Barnett is Guest Speaker at Graitec Roundtable

Curtins’ Digital Delivery Manager, Lee Barnett will be the guest speaker at Graitec’s Rountable on Wednesday 16th December, 10.00am – 12.00pm. The roundtable discussion is on the topic of ‘Implementing BIM 360 During the Covid-19 Pandemic’ and will cover:

  • Working from Home (multi-location)
  • Administering a Project
  • BIM 360 Docs, BIM 360 Coordinate and BIM 360Design
  • What is available to help your team be the most productive they can be

Tickets for the event are free. Click here to register.

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Curtins named People Development award winner

Date: 10th December 2020

Curtins named People Development award winner

Curtins are delighted to have been awarded People Development at the Construction Excellence South West (CESW) Awards on 4th December.

“People are our greatest asset and this award recognises organisations that appreciate and nurture their workforce to ensure they maximise the value of everyone’s contribution to the business,” comments the CESW Awards.

Whilst this year hasn’t been easy, nurturing talent and supporting the wellbeing of our staff has remained central to the way we have operated. From launching our Curtins Academy online that ensured no delay to graduates’ progression towards chartership, to enhancing our wellbeing programme, we have continued to keep the development of our people at the forefront of our values, despite outside challenges. We are thrilled to have accepted this prestigious award in recognition of this.

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Curtins passes BSI Audit to maintain BIM certification

Date: 1st December 2020

Curtins passes BSI Audit to maintain BIM certification

Following assessment on 25th and 26th November, Curtins have passed the audit with the BSI to maintain our BSI BIM Kitemark certification.

Comprising a review of our internal management systems, developed tools and content, our processes were assessed against the ISO 19650:2018. A selection of our projects were also assessed against the clients’ requirements outlined in the project BIM Execution Plan (BEP).

The successful outcome of the audit once again recognises that we are successfully delivering projects in accordance with the BIM process; making us one of a small number of consultants in the industry who have attained this certification.

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Girls Network: Mentee enrols in PlacEd Academy

Date: 27th November 2020

Girls Network: Mentee enrols in PlacEd Academy

Sarah Griffin, business development assistant in our Liverpool office, has been mentoring a member of the Girls’ Network since January 2020. Just before the summer holidays (and with help from our Liverpool Technician, Sophie Foulkes), Sarah encouraged Mentee, Sophie from The Belvedere Academy to apply to the PlacED Academy. Her application was successful.

PlacED Academy is a social enterprise programme aimed at 14-18 year olds who are who are interested and inspired to begin a career in design, including architecture, interior design or construction design. The scheme is supported and partnered by construction industry businesses including FCH, Arup, FWP and Morgan Sindall.

Through the programme, Sophie had the opportunity to design a community hub in Liverpool and spend 5 weeks working with a group of five to learn about one of Liverpool’s most exciting developments – the Liverpool Waters Regeneration Developments; designing her own residential regeneration.

The PlacED Academy and mentoring experience is shaping Sophie’s future in the built environment, helping her elect towards a career in architecture.

For more information on becoming a mentor with Girl’s Network go to: https://www.thegirlsnetwork.org.uk/become-a-mentor

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Niamh McCloskey represents IStructE at 2020 Professional Engineering Council Meeting

Date: 25th November 2020

Niamh McCloskey represents IStructE at 2020 Professional Engineering Council Meeting

We have the pleasure of working with some exceptional people. On Tuesday 24th November, Niamh McCloskey represented the The Institution of Structural Engineers as their young professional, by personal invitation, at the 2020 Professional Engineering Council Plenary Meeting.

Sitting in a room with 40 CEO’s from professional engineering institutions and 10 more young members, Niamh was part of Engineers Without Borders UK workshops and conversations around equality, diversity, sustainability, ethics and mental health. She’s a leading light in the progression of our industry, and we’re proud to work with her at Curtins.

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Head of IT, David Price discusses cyber security improvements with Barracuda

Date: 25th November 2020

Head of IT, David Price discusses cyber security improvements with Barracuda

Following an upgrade of Curtins’ email security from the native Office 365 suite to Barracuda’s Total Email Protection, Head of IT, David Price explains what this means for Curtins’ protection against cyber threats.

To read the Barracuda case study, click here.

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David Wiggins Presents at CARE Conference

Date: 20th November 2020

David Wiggins Presents at CARE Conference

CARE accredited Senior Engineer, David Wiggins is set to present on “How Lime Mortar Works” at the online CARE Conservation of Heritage Structures conference. Taking place across three consecutive evenings from 1-3 December, Wiggins’ webinar is scheduled for day three, 5.30pm. 

The conference will cover different aspects of conservation that are relevant to professionals working in the built environment. Four guest speakers and two CARE registrants will cover popular aspects of conservation. 

“How Lime Mortar Works” will summarise the recent developments in the understanding of lime mortar, clear up some myths on the topic and focus on the practical specification in the use of hot-mixed lime mortars.

More information and booking on the IStructE website here

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Curtins contributes to ICE’s UN75: Sustainable Engineering In Action

Date: 16th November 2020

Curtins contributes to ICE’s UN75: Sustainable Engineering In Action

To mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has created a commemorative album – UN75: Sustainable Engineering In Action.

Curtins are extremely proud to have collaborated with ICE and contributed a piece on Carbon-conscious engineering to the beautifully designed publication. The article discusses Curtins’ seven-step pathway to sustainability, created by technical director, Stephen Beggs.

UN75: Sustainable Engineering In Action charts the history of the UN and profiles its Sustainable Development Goals. It raises awareness of the vital need for sustainable development, highlighting the role that engineering has to play in finding solutions; presents a range of specific challenges and engineering solutions; and breaks down “siloed” thinking within engineering and beyond.

This book unifies ICE and the UN’s shared commitment to shaping a better future and addresses the challenges that lie ahead. To order a copy of the anniversary book, or for more information, please visit: www.un-75.org