What is your name and job title?

My name is Jonathan Brown and I'm a graduate construction manager.

Where are you normally based?

Kentish Town head office, London.

What do you do at Murphy?

I sat in a presentation given by Murphy to our 4th year Construction Management class in CIT (Cork Institute of Technology) last February. I was very interested in the business and their graduate programme. After a successful interview, I joined the Murphy Graduate Programme last September as a Graduate Construction Manager in the infrastructure business unit.

Since then, I have been involved in a Railway Tunnel Strengthening Project where the scope of work was to shotcrete 193m in four areas of a railway tunnel which was 1km long. When I joined, the team were midway through the preparation works which were required prior to the six-day blockade in mid-November. Rules of the Route involved possessions each Saturday night, which were approximately 7 hours long. The projects works included; 60 lengths of drainage, the installation of 752 L-bars, 388m of timber shuttering and the installation of temporary infrastructure services to operate the shotcreting plant and equipment during the blockade.

It was a high-pressure job run with a tight programme, no two days have been the same and there was no room for error in the preparation works given the short windows of access. We had to ensure we had the correct paperwork and resources in place for each Saturday night possession, we had a readiness review Skype call every Thursday to ensure everything was in place for the weekend work. The project management team were located in Kentish Town, to mitigate this there were by daily conference calls with the site team (am and pm) to ensure all aspects of the job were captured on a daily basis; safety, procurement and commercial were also represented on every call.

  • Project team on site.
    Project team on site.
  • Concrete spraying inside the tunnel.
    Concrete spraying inside the tunnel.
  • Jonathan Brown, graduate construction manager.
    Jonathan Brown, graduate construction manager.
What did you do on your first project?

From mid-October, I was based on site full time and got to see the site set up from the beginning. There were two compounds, one at each end of the tunnel, with two separate sub-contractors operating from opposite ends, starting in the middle of the tunnel and working away from each other towards their respective compounds.

I prepared the induction slides and the relevant animations of the sequencing of the on-track plant. This was later turned into an induction video and was shown to the 190 operatives and staff that would be working on the blockade.

I worked closely with the SHES rep in capturing the ‘close calls’ on site and ensuring they were closed out in a timely manner.

I organised a time-lapse video whereby I engaged with a media company to set up seven cameras around the site and in the tunnel to showcase some of the great work that we carried out. After the successful blockade, I managed the plant off-hire register to ensure all plant (300+ items) was correctly off-hired.

What do you find most interesting about your role?

At this early stage of my career, I played a part in delivering a complex tunnelling project under a challenging rail environment. I was amazed at the amount of planning that goes into a job of this magnitude.

What are your career aspirations?

Continually improve and progress my way through the company by building my experience across all sectors. I also have an interest in doing a masters at some stage.

What advice would you give for anyone looking to be in your role?

Ask plenty of questions, don’t be afraid to make a mistake, give your best and get involved.

Murphy early careers.

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