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Spotlight on Jubb Directors: Jonathan Rogers

Clients are always commenting on how easy it is to get in touch with a director.  All our directors contact information is on our website including their direct mobile and landline numbers.  This saves everyone time and energy getting to speak to the right person at the right level.  This sets us apart from the competition and ensures that our directors are hands on with all existing and potential clients.

We are continuing the spotlight on our directors, their careers and where their passion truly lies when it comes to the work they do.

Jonathan Rogers, Director and front-runner of our Winchester office steps into the spotlight and talks about current projects, dealing with challenges and how they are overcoming them.

Tell us about your current projects, the challenges you are facing and how you are overcoming them.

One that is particularly fresh in my mind is Marketfield Way which is a project which we are part of Vinci Construction UK’s delivery team. As part of the project we had to deliver a Build Over Agreement with Thames Water which has saved over a year on the programme. This Build Over Agreement has been a real challenge and I have loved each of the various elements of Jubb coming together to deliver as it’s been a real team effort. Firstly, the Civils team in Winchester provided the initial contact and developed the lasting relationships within Thames Water. Our specialist Ground Engineers became involved using some of the fantastic modelling software they have, to develop settlement models to inform how the sewer would perform during and after construction. The Bristol structures team developed transfer structures that were capable of bridging the sewer, despite it not being located where we had been told it was and it being shallower than expected. I have, for my part held the strings and watched as we have danced our way through the approvals process culminating in a ‘No Comment’ status from the Asset Team within Thames Water. Doesn’t sound very spectacular and all quite low key when we got the nod, but my goodness was it a lovely moment.

What is your engineering speciality?

 My specialty is Buildings I guess and over the years I have been lucky enough to be involved in some large and complex projects. Having started prior to graduation I was fortunate to work for a small regional Consultancy in Scotland who gave me lots of opportunity to spread my wings and take responsibility. Little did I know that my career with this Consultancy would allow me to work in Russia for 3 years and end up working for one of the largest consultancies in the world; URS Corporation. Having started as a Civils graduate, I quickly moved onto my passion which was buildings, unfortunately my Dad was an Architect and have been ‘liking’ buildings since I can remember!

 What are your favourite projects or the ones you are most proud of?

 It’s a bit like saying which one of your children is your favourite, I’m proud of all my projects. My favourite one is usually the one we have either just been appointed on or have just completed with a happy client. I have a particular fondness of Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth which was my first mark on my life down south, and as a passionate Scottish Rugby follower Murrayfield Stadium which I was lucky enough to be involved with, still remember carrying out a structural survey under the old West Stand and discovering that the original steelwork from 1920’s was a bit worse for wear. More up to date Vauxhall Tower has definitely made a lasting impression but our current crop of projects we are delivering for various clients are equally challenging and fulfilling.

Is there any news or changes in your specialist sector/industry that you feel strongly about?  

 I’m particularly vocal regarding the degrading of Structural Engineering Fees. It currently feels like a race to the bottom; how cheap can you do it. I’m not sure that our Clients always understand how much responsibility there is in providing the structural design for a building and the risks involved. To provide a suitable and compliant design takes many years of education, skill and diligence. The consequences of not getting it right could be catastrophic and not just damaging for us but also our Clients. Yet we are asked to provide our information in highly pressured environments which are constantly shifting on shoestring budgets. There has to be a more sustainable approach to this and developing suitable Fee levels. I often think that you would never select your surgeon based on how cheaply they can do it!

Tell us about your office and why you love the city you’re working in.

 Winchester is a lovely Cathedral City set in Hampshire’s rolling hills. I find the history of the place fascinating and feel the presence of Alfred the Great often as we walk around the Town. At every turn you are reminded of the long history of the place all the way back to the Romans and beyond. As always not all of the modern additions are that great but some of the modern architecture I think really works. Our office is not so architectural but is functional I would suggest. We are currently looking for alternative accommodation as we have currently outgrown our office.

 What is your favourite structure worldwide and why? 

My favourite structure is the Chrysler Building in New York. I love the Art Deco design and the detailing internally and externally. I think William Van Alen was a very clever man. It just looks so elegant, compared with some modern attempts. I have been lucky enough to visit New York on a couple of occasions and visited the building. Unfortunately, unless you work there isn’t public access apart for the foyer. Still beautiful though.

Chrysler Building, New York (Photo by Dan Smedley on Unsplash)