After an exciting ten months since joining Momentum in October 2018 as a Graduate Engineer, Onyeka shares some insights into his role and the many highlights and learnings he has gained since making the transition from super-star Masters student to an aspiring, qualified chartered engineer.
To kick us off Onyeka, can you tell us what your day-to-day role involves?
Often spotted in the kitchen armed with two slices of bread and chocolate spread, my day always starts with a quick breakfast before I dive into CAD (computer-aided design). CAD is quite literally my life now as it’s the tool that enables me to create all forms of 2D and 3D drawings. AutoCAD, alongside Civil 3D and Navisworks have become instrumental in my daily role.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been given real autonomy and responsibility right away. From day one I’ve been blessed with opportunities to contribute to a number of live projects, many of which are located across the City of London. Thankfully I’ve been able to call on the support and guidance of various members from the engineering team, which has been amazing.
Some of my work revolves around vehicle tracking, which is all about testing space requirements for parking lots and evaluating the number of spatial manoeuvres in junctions and delivery and servicing bays. Also, I’ve been involved in public realm and placemaking schemes; and highway redesign and realignment works – with special attention given to encouraging active and sustainable transport modes. If you were to look at my screen, you’d most likely find me using CAD to draw scaled-down versions of works which help the team accurately contextualise the scheme before going to the site. You may catch me carrying out threshold checks, manually validating software outputs, drafting technical notes, producing mark-ups or concept plans and subsurface highway investigations for identifying impacted utility ducts and their locations.
Tell us about some of your highlights during your time at Momentum?
After my dance battle win at our company birthday party, I have to say my greatest personal highlight has to be delivering a presentation at Bristol UWE where I shared my research on autonomous vehicles and their impact on parking spaces to a room of professors and fellow transport enthusiasts. I was subsequently awarded the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) prize for the best MSc research in 2019 at UWE. This was such a special moment for me, I have to thank Momentum and the team for giving me the opportunity to preview my presentation with them during one of our weekly knowledge sharing sessions.
Aside from that unique and personal moment, other highlights have been becoming a graduate member of The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and embarking on my journey towards becoming a Chartered Engineer. Another highlight, of course, has to be hosting a Momentum walking tour with some of our other grads and consultants during Clerkenwell Design Week. The tours were great fun and an opportunity to show how the work we do at Momentum influences good urban design.
If you were to advise the next group of aspiring graduate engineers and planners looking to join Momentum, what would you tell them they can expect in terms of personal development and growth?
I’d say come ready to learn and be part of a unique and special team that has a distinctive company culture which welcomes growth and new ideas, from all corners of the room.
As a not-so-new joiner any more, I can gladly say if you have a vision and a passion to pursue a career in engineering or planning, the support is here. I would also say if you are someone that is naturally proactive and thrives on getting stuck into new projects and learning new processes, terminologies and best engineering practices, this could be a great fit.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions, whether it’s to your personal supervisor or any member of the wider team; take advantage of opportunities to attend internal and external training which are designed to facilitate your growth; and if you’ve got personal targets, go for it now, don’t postpone!
And finally, in 5 words or less, why Momentum?
Simply, the project opportunities. Unmatched!