Simon Dent BEng CEng MIFireE

Simon-DentAge: 33
Company: Ove Arup and Partners Intl
Current job title: Associate (Fire Engineer)
Approximately how many staff are employed by your company? 1000+
Where are you based? Leeds, England
Grade of IFE membership and / or category of Engineering Council registration: CEng, MIFireE
Year of gaining membership and / or registration: 2012
Which other institution(s) are you a member of? N/A 

Please describe your current role (ie size of team managed, key responsibilities etc):
Currently, I am based in Leeds in a role which splits its loyalties between design consultancy and business management. I work directly with clients on a daily basis and lead negotiations on their behalf with stakeholders and Approving Authorities to secure mutually satisfactory outcomes. I advise clients on cross-disciplinary technical design issues, project cost saving strategies, budget management and programme analysis tailored to address their individual needs. I work directly with others in our practice to identify future strategies, key priorities and business goals for the Fire Practice within the context of the wider Firms mission. I am responsible for ensuring an adequate and interesting workload for the Leeds Fire Practice (x4 engineers) as well as the identification of staff training and development opportunities.

Please provide a brief outline of your career so far:
Arup, 2004-Current

Consultant, Inventures, NHS Estates, Department of Health, Leeds, UK: 08/2002 – 09/2004

Working as an engineer for the consultancy arm of an NHS QANGO my role was to consult, on behalf of the Department of Health, with national Private Finance Initiative project teams.  I provided value focussed engineering advice and Building Code query determinations. During my time with the Department, I was a member of a policy writing group tasked with producing guidance documents which are now being nationally used in the design of all new healthcare facilities.   The appointment with Inventures gave me a unique insight into strategic level decision making processes, holistic thinking and delivering change in dynamic environments.

Health and Safety Consultant. Tim Rafter Associates, Dublin, Eire: 04/2001 - 07/2002

Employed in Dublin as a consultant to the Port Authority, my activities ranged from the inspection of infrastructure to acting as a representative for the Port in emergency training simulation exercises with local emergency services.  This training focussed role developed my skills in the delivery of technically complex information to audiences from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Have you worked on any unusual or high profile projects?
The Albion Street development, located in the heart of Manchester City Centre, constituted a significant achievement in Fire Engineering for new office developments. At the time of design and Approval, at 55m, it was the tallest single stair office building in the United Kingdom. Arup were appointed by the Client to work closely and proactively with the design team to facilitate the realisation of the architects vision. The Albion Street brown field site, as with most city centre developments, had only a limited footprint. As such, a key aspiration of the design team was to maximise the available lettable area by building tall and minimising communal or landlord controlled elements.  The extensively fire engineered solution made the project possible viable.

What attracted you to gain IFE membership / become registered?
For industry wide recognition of demonstrable competency as well as to assist with professional progression - CEng is a requirement within Arup for progression beyond the technical grades.

How did you gain IFE membership / become registered?  (ie qualifications and date awarded, work experience, etc)
Alternative route, via technical report submission.

How did you find the process and assistance you received?
I found the process very straight forward.

Do you hold any other qualifications?
BEng (Fire Engineering)

How has IFE membership / registration benefitted your career?
Facilitated a promotion and enhanced credibility.

What are your future goals?
To become a leader in the wider Arup, beyond the Fire Engineering Practice.

What is your employer’s attitude towards registration?  Were they supportive while you were working towards IFE membership / registration?
Arup is extremely supportive in this regard, providing in-house individual support and mentoring on an as needed basis.

Do you have any advice for potential members / registrants?
Start the process as soon as you can and use the resources available to you to help progress your application.

Keep your CPD record up to date – these can be very time consuming to complete retrospectively!

The process may seem daunting, but it is actually very straight forward and the IFE will provide clear guidance to you on an as needed basis.