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Tom Lowther

Why did working at Method appeal to you?

When researching the job prior to applying, I could tell that Method was a friendly company, which it certainly lived up to ever since I started. I was very drawn to the sustainability aspect of the job, which is a big consideration in everything we work on. I had also looked at previous Method projects on the website, and I liked the variety and scale of buildings that Method works on, and I wanted to be involved in the development of them.

What happened at your interview?

I was interviewed by Antony and Gordon, and the interview lasted about an hour. I was asked questions about myself, and my motivations for joining Method, then I delivered a presentation on a technical subject of my choice. I chose to talk about my final year project from university, which was on astrophysics, as I had studied physics. Then I was asked a series of knowledge and problem-solving based questions, on sustainability and thermodynamics.

Main responsibilities / Typical day

Typically, I will spend a few months on each project at a time, sometimes working on multiple projects at once. On a typical day I will set out what tasks I want to get done and this can include anything from marking up a services layout (e.g. hot and cold-water distribution), to running a lighting simulation in Dialux, or 3D modelling a building in IESVE to run an overheating simulation, among many other things. About once a week I will attend a 1 hour CPD (continuing professional development) on a building services topic, e.g. heat pumps. Depending on the project, I will also go to design team meetings to discuss the design of the building services with the architect etc.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the future I would like to continue my studies and gain a master’s degree or equivalent in order to achieve chartership. This is a longer-term goal, but in the meantime I would like to round out my building services knowledge by doing more training, and participating in meetings. Eventually I would like to manage graduates and take a more senior role in projects.

Engineer, Building Services & Environmental Engineering

Bryony Snell

What do you enjoy about my job?

I enjoy that my job is unique combination of mathematical and creative thinking that I didn’t think I would be able to find in a job. I get to use my physics knowledge and apply it to tasks such as pressure drop calculations and heat loss calculations, and I also get the opportunity to use CAD and 3D modelling software to produce building services drawings. Method encourages learning new skills, by offering opportunities for secondments in other departments – for example I have trained with the building physics team to allow me to work on the building services and building physics modelling on projects, which I really enjoy. I also like the flexible working at Method, as there is the option to work from home, and save up overtime for ‘flex days’. The benefits at Method and the social aspect are excellent; there are regular socials and sports events which are always fun. Most recently we have been to a waterpark, gone wreath making at Christmas, had our regular pub of the month social, and as I new starter I always felt welcomed.

Challenging aspects

I would say the most challenging aspect for me was becoming more confident communicating with the design team and presenting my work. A really great thing about Method is the exposure you get as a graduate to the inner workings of projects and getting to go to meetings, however for me it took a while to build that confidence. Another challenge has been managing my time between projects when working on multiple at once and this is made much easier when communicating with project managers, who are always understanding and helpful.

Skills/qualifications learnt at University that you use in your job?

During my job I mostly use thermodynamics knowledge, as well as some electronics for understanding cable calculations, and general mathematics. I also completed an excel course at university which has been very helpful as I use excel on a daily basis for running calculations and documenting schedules.

Training you receive as part of your job?

As part of my job, Method organises CPDs weekly which I can optionally attend, which is helpful for learning about various heating, water, ventilation etc. systems. Additionally, I am able to sign up for seminars and training sessions, online and in person, run by CIBSE or individual software providers which would be useful for my job. For the most part though, the building services knowledge I have learned has been on the job – whenever I encounter a new task I haven’t undertaken before, I am taught by a senior engineer how it should be done and shown examples. There can be a lot of information to take on at one time, however I find that learning a process by putting it into practice means I take on the knowledge a lot better.

Your piece of advice to anyone thinking of going into building services/building physics?

I would say that you don’t need to have specific building services knowledge before coming to the job, as I was initially worried that my physics degree might not prepare me, however you will be taught everything you need to know while working at Method. In the job, communication skills are very important as you have to relay technical information to both experienced engineers and others who are not specialists in building services. I would recommend this job very highly if you have an interest in sustainability, design and the built environment and have a background in maths and science.