Careers at RPS:  from Engineer to Director

Careers at RPS: from Engineer to Director

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Dave Callaghan joined RPS as a Mechanical & Electrical Engineer in 2005 before climbing to achieve the role of Operational Director just nine years later. Today he leads the RPS Building Services teams from our Birmingham and Milton Keynes offices.

In recent years, he has been awarded both the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Bronze Medal and Certificate of Commendation, in recognition of his service. Dave has been a member of (CIBSE) West Midlands Regional Committee for over 15 years – as Chairman for three of those, and Vice Chairman for two.

Looking back, Dave reflects on his career and what he believes it takes to be successful.

"You could say I fell into the trade. I left school on the Friday, and unsure of what career path I wanted to take I entered a Youth Opportunity Scheme working for a Mechanical & Electrical Engineering contractor. I began work that following Monday and I never looked back.

I really enjoyed the work and went on to enter a fully indentured apprenticeship scheme, which I was lucky to secure as they were a rare commodity at the time, and that put me through my college courses where I learnt a lot of what I do now.

From then I continued to build my career in the industry, working on the contractor side before moving over to consultancy, which is where I am today.

I put my success largely down to my ability to interact and relate with people, and my positive attitude, both of which I consider vital, no matter what stage you are at in your career.

Of course, you need to enjoy the work too - and for me that comes with having variety. That’s what keeps it interesting and what I would say is one of the major benefits of working for a large multi-disciplinary consultancy like RPS. My team work on a wide variety of projects, at all scales, for a range of clients, nationwide. This includes working in conjunction with RPS Building Services teams based around the UK and also as part of a multi-disciplinary team alongside RPS’ wider services.

This keeps us busy - my team has grown by 38% this year alone and is still expanding.

A couple of recent highlights would be the Porton Down Science Park for which we designed a modular, flexible space that can be divided into a variety of configurations to suit changing occupants and their individual needs, without interruption to the building services. Securing a place on the Fusion21 framework, which is a national public sector framework, also ranks pretty high.

Finally, I think it is important to know when to take a break and let off some steam. This will only make you more productive in the long run. Music is my choice when it comes to downtime and I have been trying (failing) to pull together an office band. Although I haven’t had any luck yet, I didn’t get this far by shying away from a challenge."

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