RSE Graduate Civil Engineer, Kathryn Dalgleish, has been shortlisted for the Rising Star Award at this year’s UK Water Industry Awards. Kathryn has been nominated for the award due to her significant involvement in the management of projects during her graduate apprenticeship with RSE, quickly progressing to managing small value capital works projects within her graduate role.
Kathryn studied for a BEng in Civil Engineering at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, after leaving school in 2018. After a year studying full time, she was offered a summer student placement at RSE in the Cumbernauld office. During this time, Kathryn demonstrated great enthusiasm and a strong work ethic, so when she returned to university, RSE were keen to retain Kathryn in her current position and offered her part-time work to fit around her studies. This allowed Kathryn to gain on-the-job experience whilst remaining at university.
Heriot Watt University offered to transfer Kathryn’s full-time degree course to a graduate apprenticeship with RSE. From October 2019, she worked full-time at RSE, with 1 day per week studying at university, using projects she was involved in to complete her work-based learning modules. She completed her course over 2 years and graduated with first-class honours in 2021.
Since completing her degree, Kathryn has continued to work full-time for RSE, progressing to Graduate Project Engineer within the delivery division. As Kathryn was heavily involved in the management of projects during her apprenticeship, she quickly progressed to project managing small value capital works and has been successfully doing this since June 2021, completing 12 projects from concept through design to construction and acceptance to the value of circa £1 million.
As a Project Engineer, Kathryn has an excellent working relationship with the Scottish Water Managed Delivery and Customer Service Delivery (CSD) teams, where she is often the first point of contact. She is responsible for carrying out scoping visits with the client and offering an efficient solution with minimal downtime to the treatment process. Following this, she produces the tender price, scope pack and tender offer.
Kathryn is also responsible for organising site works and producing contract programmes, construction phase plans and all other documentation such as Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS). She further liaises with sub-contractors and utility companies where required, to ensure programme dates are met. Another aspect of her role at RSE is the procurement of all plant, materials, and labour, along with all financial reporting on every project.
Kathryn’s problem-solving and innovative mindset was an asset to her team when she was involved in a chemical tank inspection programme, which was a pan-Scotland project. An important aspect of the works was gathering and storing the data and reports completed by both RSE and the specialist inspection subcontractors. The programme was split into 2 phases which were the initial data gathering and verification of the Scottish Water tanks on site.
The process of uploading the initial surveys took a team of 4 engineers 6 weeks to complete. During this operation, it was evident that mistakes and duplications occurred, as it was a manual process to write the survey information on site, type up the reports in the office and upload them to SharePoint.
Kathryn worked in conjunction with TickAudit, 2 nominated inspection sub-contractors (Bureau Veritas and James Fisher), and SW’s IT department, to invent an app which automatically produced the UKAS certified reports for both NDT and visual inspections on site on the day of inspection, reducing any duplication or errors. This removed the need for admin time, as reports were automatically filed on SharePoint and, more importantly, any defects or safety concerns were immediately and automatically highlighted to the project sponsor. This has saved SW approximately £750k over the full programme by saving thousands of admin hours.
Due to Kathryn’s initiative to innovate processes and invent solutions, the app allowed Scottish Water to view reports and monitor progress on a weekly basis, without any further reporting by RSE. Kathryn identified the efficiencies to be gained through the chemical tank inspection app and suggested that similar efficiencies could be utilised through developing apps to digitalise RSE’s current reporting and inspection forms. As a result, RSE have now launched a Site Manager’s app, Electrical Inspection app and Commissioning app, which were all created by Kathryn in conjunction with TickAudit.
The development of these apps has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need for remote access to documentation. This has also led to a reduction in our carbon output through the reduced need for printed materials, resulting in these digital procedures now acting as RSE’s standard reporting tools.
Due to Kathryn’s ability to innovate, learn on the job and perform successfully in her role, RSE are of the opinion that she will progress quickly to the role of Project Manager and has the potential to develop further within the business once she has had the opportunity to gain additional work experience.
Brian McCulloch, Delivery Manager and Kathryn’s Line Manager, said: