Nick – Group Operations Director

Nick has truly risen through the ranks at VVB, from graduate to director. Here’s what he has to say about his role and VVB’s culture, from over 18 years’ experience managing major infrastructure projects and bringing teams together.

Career background and journey at VVB

After gaining my BEng in Electronic Engineering with Communications, I started in 2004 as a graduate engineer, working on highway tunnel projects. I then moved into a project manager role and delivered my first project in 2006. Following its success, I was moved to provide specialist consultancy to major infrastructure projects, including A3 Hindhead, LU Tottenham Court Road station, M25 Holmesdale and Bell Common tunnels and the Battersea Power station development infrastructure upgrades.

In 2008, I was tasked with setting up the business’ rail sector, which landed immediate success in securing the Farringdon station redevelopment project. After developing this sector over a few years, I became sector manager in 2010, when we secured other contracts across NR and LU, including the upgrade of Bond Street Station.

From 2013, I was moved into a business-focused role looking at key work-winning targets and projects across our portfolio. This involved setting up and delivering projects in emerging markets and overseas. I became Director of the business in 2015 and moved to Group Operations Director in 2018, looking after all projects in the VVB portfolio. During my time here, I’ve become a member of the IET and APM.

A typical day in the life of a Group Operations Director

I could be undertaking a site visit or meeting a client; reviewing a tender or ensuring projects are performing inline with expectations.

One day, I attended a conference on the future of rail whilst also working on a major tender for a £100m+ road tunnel scheme and discussing the rebranding of the business with the CEO. 

On another day, I worked with my team on our company performance, before undertaking a site visit on our tram project in Wolverhampton. And on the next, I saw clients in Cardiff and visited our Welsh office, before returning home to coach my son’s rugby team.

My job requires attitude, flexibility and a willingness to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You also need to stay aware that you’re there to support the wider team to do what they need to.

Why VVB?

I joined VVB in 2004 because I didn’t want to just be another number in a large organisation. I felt that, with hard work and the right attitude, I could make a difference, have a voice and play a part in the company’s success. That’s still the case today and why I’m keen to be part of the furniture for the next 18 years.

The team ethos is my most important part of the culture, as it’s always been integral to VVB’s success. During the Farringdon project, I was able to build a strong team of managers, engineers, operatives and support staff, with a really positive working culture between them. Many of these people are still part of the VVB team today.

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