Q&A with Rory MacPhee

Trainee Site Engineer

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name's Rory, and I currently work with Stonbury as a Site Engineer/Trainee Site Manager. I'm 21 years old, 3rd BSc (Hons) Construction Project Management student at Glasgow Caledonian University. During my uni course, I have spent time working for various contractors, including our alliance partner ESD and have gained a lot of practical experience.

What drew you to a career in Engineering?
I enjoy the challenges and practical nature of the construction/engineering industries. I like the mix of being in the office for half of the day and then going out on-site and chatting with the guys. It’s great to see what they are achieving out on-site and being a part of that - enabling them to do that is a great feeling! 

What do you enjoy most and least about engineering?
Most - The number of different people that you meet, regardless of background we all have a common aim and work towards it. Some of the most interesting people I've met have been labourers on sites. You can be dealing with a labourer and a managing director in the same day. Diversity is key to the industry flourishing. 

Least - The pressure that we see in daily life is having an impact on professionals within the industry. Stereotypically it's always been an industry with very little work/life balance, but I would like to think people in the industry are starting to change. I truly believe my generation needs to be the one that recognises mental wellbeing and fatigue as a critical player in how we function and how we work as a team. We all need to remember it's good to talk to each other. 

What influenced your decision to specialise within the water industry?
I've been exposed to the water and construction industries for quite a while now, - having a dad who is a Civil Engineer and just a generally creative character - I've never been able to get away from it. So I guess I have him to thank for going to college and pursuing it as a career! I've had a diverse experience so far, working on projects that involve building, culverts, public health water and wastewater, so I think that I enjoy the variety more than anything else. 

Why Stonbury?
I came into contact with Stonbury through one of our current Supervisors, from there, I was introduced to our Regional Manager, and following an interview, I joined the business. From the very first day and meeting my Project Manager, I felt confident I was working in a welcoming environment where I am being not only given the chance to learn but also to manage my own workload and tasks independently. 

What do you like the most about Stonbury so far?
I like how close the team are and how friendly/helpful everyone is, although up in Scotland we are still a growing team it feels as though you can pick up the phone to anyone instead of being isolated from the overall business. 

What would you say is your favourite Stonbury Core Value, and why?
Respect - Ultimately if we don’t treat people with respect then we don’t have a business, I have been brought up with a family who work in the construction industry and always taught, you treat people the way you would like to be treated yourself! Everyone should come to work and go home safely and happy - we spend most of our lives with the people we work with, we may as well enjoy it.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of achieving my HNC, I never ever thought I would go to university, and this is the stepping stone that allowed me to accomplish that.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Ideally, within ten years, I would like to be working as either a Site or Project Manager running my own projects. 

What three words would you choose to describe yourself best?
Passionate, committed, driven...and a great dancer.