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Meet the Engineer: Ray Cantwell

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 Construction Engineer Ray Cantwell.


It was ten years ago, during at a visit to a careers advice centre in Hammersmith, that Ray Cantwell took the first step toward becoming a Construction Engineer.

Speaking to an advisor, Ray expressed his skills in Maths, Sciences and his desire to work on something practical. Shortly afterwards he had applied for a civil engineering apprenticeship.

“They gave me two options, either QS or Civil Engineering – both construction-related” explains Ray, “I signed up to the website for Civil Engineering and Surveying apprenticeships and applied for a local civil engineering apprenticeship with Halcrow.”

As part of the apprenticeship he would complete a BTEC level 3 NC and HNC in Civil Engineering, covering both practical and theoretical subjects, like Surveying and Structural Design.

Working his way up from apprentice to Construction Engineer with Tideway has entailed a lot of moving around; inhabiting different jobs on different projects – each one helping him get to grips with the construction industry.

“I moved around quite a bit, working on a number of different projects while at Halcrow.” says Ray, “After that I was seconded to Crossrail where I worked as an Assistant Project Engineer at Paddington; a Junior Field Engineer at Liverpool Street and then finally a Site Engineer at Whitechapel”.

At Tideway, Ray has now worked as a Construction Engineer at both Carnwath Road and Putney Embankment and he describes both sites as being both similar and unique in their own ways, but his role has differed significantly at each site.

Carnwath Road being the main drive site, Ray was required to focus on progress reporting and ensuring issues on site were being picked up at the earliest opportunity. With Putney having a smaller scope and team, he’s learnt to be much more aware of the number of constraints and requirements - such as material durability and compliance - to delivering works on site.

When asked what the future holds for him, Ray’s clear that he wants to get more experience and learn new skills:

“I’m focusing on building up a more advanced engineering knowledge through getting involved in the practical side of things. While doing this, I’d like to build up more management and contractual skills, as it seems the natural succession while working for Tideway/Jacobs is to progress towards a Project or Construction management role.”

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