Design Engineer

Brendan Attewell

Making the most of every opportunity

For Brendan Attewell, enjoyment comes from solving complex problems. And in the construction industry, two problems are rarely the same—especially when you’re involved in vertical, horizontal, foundation and marine works.

It’s the diverse portfolio of work that Brendan says attracted him to take a role as Temporary Works Engineer with Fletcher Construction in 2017.

‘In terms of working for a construction company without limitation, there are very few areas that Fletcher doesn’t have a presence in,’ says Brendan. ‘The opportunity to get involved in vertical, horizontal, piling and even residential builds attracted me to the belief that within Fletcher I would have enough diversity to keep me coming back for more.’

His favourite project so far, was Auckland International Airport Phase Three. The project was logistically complex to deliver and there was a real sense of teamwork. ‘ The word ‘team’ can be used fairly loosely when you talk about a group of individuals, but there was a very strong team ethos on that project that seemed to bring everyone together, towards the goals that they had set themselves,’ says Brendan.

Brendan is currently working as part of Fletcher’s Infrastructure business unit, reviewing temporary works procedures. Recently, with the support of Fletcher, he helped establish a temporary works forum to bring the industry together to share information and lessons learned, raise awareness and provide consistency across contractors, consultants and clients. ‘I am proud to be a founding committee member of the temporary works forum and excited to see what we can achieve in that space,’ Brendan says.

One of the most important things Brendan says he has learned over his career sharing experiences and knowledge. ‘I think it’s important to be continuously developing, not just your own knowledge but that of the people around you, and I feel privileged to be constantly learning from others as well.

And this is something Brendan says he has been encouraged to do at Fletcher. ‘I have been encouraged to use my experience and ability to add value to the business, those around me and the wider industry. I never feel like my day to day is to deliver the minimum.’

The advantage of being able to speak to experts working in the different fields across the business, as well as within our sister companies across the wider Fletcher Building group, provides me all the support I need to sound out ideas, listen, learn and apply good practice where otherwise good information can be difficult to find.

Brendan ensures he makes the most of every opportunity—even if it pushes him out of his comfort zone. One of his biggest challenges has been gaining the confidence to stand in front of a room full of people to deliver courses, seminars or presentations. ‘I don’t know if I will ever be completely comfortable doing it, but I have learned that there is not actually anything to be afraid of.’

Some advice Brendan has for people who are new to the industry, ‘try not to limit your exposure early in your career. Broaden your knowledge and take opportunities when they come to you—try something different,’ he says.