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My working life: Kirsty Jamieson, associate, Tony Gee and Partners

Redesigning bridges to allow for installation of overhead power line on the rail route between Edinburgh and Glasgow requires a calm head and an ability to always hit a deadline.

Scotland’s railways are the big focus in terms of the working day for 40 year old Tony Gee and Partners associate Kirsty Jamieson

“We are working with BAM Nuttall and Network Rail on improvements being carried out across the Scottish routes but in particular the electrification of the secondary line between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“I am comfortable working with contractors. I have been doing it for 15 years and I know what they want and how they operate. The really good thing is knowing that what you are working on will be on site in a few months. That is very rewarding.”

“Our contract is for the advance works to allow installation of the overhead power lines and that means dealing with a lot of bridges which currently don’t have headroom for that. There are a whole ream that are either being demolished or the arches are being replaced to allow for higher bridge decks.”

It’s high pressure work with the immovable deadlines that come with planned in rail possessions. “If the information comes to us late, the end date can’t change. The possessions have to be booked months ahead and contractors have to have designs to work to when they arrive on site,” she says.

This requires a calm head and an ability to always meet a deadline. Jamieson is a mother of two small children and fitting her job requirements into a four day week so seems to have a natural ability to juggle the demands of all the people with a call on her time.

“I am comfortable working with contractors,” she says. “I have been doing it for 15 years and I know what they want and how they operate; and I know not to expect thanks,” she laughs. “The really good thing is knowing that what you are working on will be on site in a few months. That is very rewarding.”

Jamieson trained as a civil engineer and started her career with The Highland Council carrying out bridge inspections and assessments. She joined Tony Gee and Partners in 2012 straight from maternity leave and after spells with two other consultants.

 “Rail has been new for me but I am really enjoying it,” she says. “There are 17 of us in the Glasgow office but there were only seven when I started. The small office was a culture shock but in a good way. We are a tight team and we work very closely together.

 “I really like that our directors Alasdair Fowler and Gordon Nobbs are both involved in project work so they understand the challenges the rest of us face. I like the staff in general at Tony Gee, I like the work and I like that there are people who have been here a long time.”

It is the unexpected phone calls that Jamieson particularly enjoys. Most recent was a commission from a concrete repair contractor asking for structural assessments at a hydro scheme and masonry arch bridge.

 “It is good to be with a company that doesn’t shy away from the difficult projects because that means there is always something a little bit different coming through the door.

 “I have always wanted my career to progress and can see clear opportunity here,” she says.

If you would like to contact Jackie Whitelaw about this, or any other story, please email jackie.whitelaw@infrastructure-intelligence.com.