By Heliya Fanipour

I have always wanted to become an engineer, ever since I was little. During my last year of High School, I had my doubts to whether I should be choosing this career path for my life. To become a Civil Engineer, I was required to complete a 4-Year degree, Bachelor of Engineering with Honours at the University of Canterbury.

During the first year of University, I was introduced to all the different branches of Engineering. At the end of my first year of studies, I decided to continue my journey with Civil Engineering as better positioned me to help the community and give back. At University we were required to complete 800 hours of work in the chosen field to get familiarised with the industry and use the knowledge gained from our studies in the field. Working at KR gave me an opportunity to experience each field, and understand the Civil Engineering umbrella, Geotechnical, Environmental, Structural and pure Civil Engineering.

Continuous Learning Environment at Kirk Roberts

During my time at KR, I have had huge support from the seniors and the managers in the Civil team. Their guidance, mentorship, and unwavering support have been instrumental in shaping my professional journey. They have provided valuable insights, shared their expertise, and encouraged me to take on challenging projects that have expanded my skill set. Through their constructive feedback and criticism, they have motivated me to constantly strive for improvement.

The managers and seniors at Civil KR have created a nurturing environment that fosters learning, innovation, and personal growth, enabling me to reach new heights in my career. The company recognises that the field of civil engineering is constantly evolving, and that staying up-to-date is crucial for delivering exceptional results. To promote continuous learning, we engage in various activities which include regular technical training sessions where team members share their expertise and discuss new industry developments. We are also encouraged to participate in professional development programs, such as workshops, seminars, and industry conferences. Additionally, the team actively seeks out new challenges and diverse projects, providing opportunities for skill expansion and learning through practical experience. By fostering a culture of continuous learning, the Civil team at KR is consistently delivering innovative solutions and maintaining excellence in their work.

I have had the privilege of working on a diverse range of projects during my tenure at KR. Among them, a few stand out as personal favourites. One such project is Martyn Street, an Auckland City endeavour. With the unwavering support and guidance of our Technical Director, we achieved Engineering Plan Approvals seamlessly, without any Request for Information (RFI) hurdles. This accomplishment was a testament to our collaborative efforts and technical expertise.

Flying Solo

Another notable project is the Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Development at 55 Dickson Street. This marked my first solo project, where I successfully led the project from Preliminary Design to Detailed Design with the support of my Senior Manager, navigating the process without encountering any RFIs from the Council. Witnessing this project transition smoothly into the construction phase filled me with a sense of accomplishment and reinforced my confidence in my capabilities. Additionally, I was involved in the re-design of the Carpark at Sudima Kaikōura. Our client requested us to update the design, focusing on enhancing cost-effectiveness and sustainability. Through collaborative efforts and innovative thinking, we delivered a redesigned Carpark that exceeded client expectations while aligning with environmentally conscious principles.