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Meet the Engineer: Jose Segovia

At Tideway, our aim is to inspire the engineers of tomorrow by promoting the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths.

We also want to showcase some of the many talented people we have working across the project. Meet Civil Engineer Jose Segovia. 

There is a history of engineers in Jose Segovia’s family, including his father, which has guided his professional path. As a young student he had a natural inclination towards the sciences and always knew that he would become an engineer, deciding that Civil Engineering would best fulfil his ambitions.

A graduate of the University of Cantabria, based in his hometown, during his final year Jose studied in Lyon, France, at INSA (Institut National des Sciences Apliquées) where, as well as engineering, he took the opportunity to develop his French skills alongside English. “I enjoyed being in a multicultural environment where I learned to get on with people from all aspects of life,” said Jose.

After an internship with a major French contractor, on returning to Spain he was offered a contract with Ferrovial in the Middle East.

“I jumped at the chance to work in a country with fast developing infrastructure projects. I will never forget the feeling of pride as I drove to the airport on my last day in the Sultanate of Oman along the expressway which I had had a part in building.

He was now ready to start the next phase of his career in London, “one of the greatest cities in the world.”

Jose joined the Thames Tideway Tunnel Project in February 2018, the year of the “Beast from East”. The freezing temperatures came as a shock to the Spaniard, not least because he had spent the previous three and a half years in the Middle East, where the average summer temperatures reach 45 degrees. Then just as he started to acclimatise to the cold, a heatwave hit the UK and he began to feel more at home.

Jose started at Falconbrook Pumping Station taking up the challenge of adapting to a new working environment with different Health and Safety standards, quality procedures, and planning strategies.   

From a smaller team in a smaller physical environment, Jose then moved to the Blackfriars Bridge Foreshore site, one of the biggest and most challenging on the project. “As an added bonus, I get to spend time by the river, something which I have missed since leaving my coastal home in Santander, in the north of Spain.”

Alongside his job, Jose had an interest in current affairs and economics, which he has developed by studying a Master’s in Economics and Finance.

For him, engineering allows him to see the fruits of his labour, and he is well aware of the benefit the Tideway project will bring in cleaning the River Thames.

“I will always feel a small part of the history of the project and the city I’m working in. I am very conscious of the effects of climate change and pollution on the environment and I am keen to play an even bigger part in the company’s innovations to combat and improve life for our future generations.   

His advice to young people wanting to go into engineering is to learn from every experience. “Be willing and open to innovation and new ideas. Be aware that Engineering is a very practical environment and whilst applying the theories learned at university, one must also be adaptable.”

“I would also advise any young engineer to consider learning languages as they will find themselves working in a multicultural environment, wherever they are based. Embrace this and you will be greatly rewarded.” 

In the longer-term Jose wants to work towards Project Management, to lead major infrastructure projects. “I am ambitious but I have learned there are no shortcuts to becoming a fully-fledged leader." 

The newlywed is also looking forward to starting a family in the near future. “My wife told me to say that,” he added.