10 Jan “Spotlight” on Craig Herbert
Craig joined MiCiM last summer as a senior construction project manager working on our ISO level 5 class application laboratory in Bristol, Craig comes with a wealth of experience, and shown strong leadership championing the team in aiding the delivery of a challenging project.
Tell us a bit about your career and what you’re bringing to your role:
I started my career in construction in 1985, firstly as a labourer. I then moved onto a City & Guilds in Carpentry and joinery. Over the years I have then undertaken various roles from foreman, site manager etc to reach the position I now have as Snr Project Manager with MiCiM. This route into management has enabled me to not only understand the practicalities of the construction process but also experience how each level of supervision works on site and interacts with the build team.
You have a highly pressurised career – what would you say are the key strengths you bring to a team?
My aim is to bring a calm and an even manner to the team. In my experience it never brings the best out of a team to see those leading a project involving themselves in panic management or displaying inconsistent behaviour.
What are the main challenges in the Mission Critical sector?
The sector is made up of clients with very specific needs which do not always fit in with some of the traditional building practices. Ensuring that construction management teams fully understand and can assist the client with their requirements is paramount to the projects.
What kind of skills does one need to have to enable a career in the Mission Critical sector that spans for 20 years?
Patience, the ability to listen and a desire to produce the best outcome for the client must be high on your agenda to work within the Mission Critical sector.
Over the course of your career, what would you say was your most challenging project?
Very difficult to pin down the one challenging project as they all have their own specific requirements. However, once the move has been made into the sector of pharmaceuticals, clean rooms, and data centres it is fair to say that there are plenty of challenges to work with.
Is there any cutting-edge technology which you are excited about, which will be at the forefront of the industry in the next few years?
I have always been an advocate of the use of pre-fabrication in construction and as an extension to this I have an interest in the field of DfMA. The chance to construct large sections of the build within a factory environment not only reduces health and safety risks but can also provide a higher quality of finish for the client, a reduction in on site activities and provide pre-constructed sections of the finished building that arrive to site with large sections of the commissioning/testing completed. As our sector of work is, in itself, so cutting edge, I think the tie in to DfMA design is an appropriate and very exciting idea.
Are there any skill/formulae/tech you learned in your formative years you still utilise today?
As I have worked through the various disciplines within construction, labourer, tradesman, and management, I feel it has enabled me to better understand the people around me and talk to all those involved in the construction process with a level of knowledge and respect.
As you are always heavily involved in the final push to complete a project, what are your coping mechanisms to deal with the pressurised environment you live in?
To cope within the environment we work in requires a great deal of focus, not only to see the bigger picture regarding the project and its priorities but also keep sight of the importance of things beyond the project. Family and friends are, and remain a great support network at times of pressure.
What is it that you enjoy about working with the MiCiM team?
I am finding the MiCiM team very knowledgeable, supportive, and forward thinking. Very refreshing attributes within our industry and not as widespread as you would hope.
After a busy working week, what do you do in your down time?
My time away from work is spent mostly with family, grand children filling a lot of that time. Beyond that myself and my wife enjoy gardening and also still spend as much time as we can watching live music.