We caught up with Chris to find out more about his career so far.
Chris, congratulations on 20 years at Morson Projects! Tell us, can you remember your first day?
Yes, I remember it well! I came to Morson Projects from an executive position in the ceramic industry. My time at Morson Projects was only supposed to be for six months, after which I was supposed to take up an executive position with a different ceramic company.
My initial role at Morson Projects was as a stress engineer on the Nimrod Check-Stress Programme and I enjoyed it so much that after six months I actually withdrew from the ceramic job – I suppose this is where my 20-year journey began.
My previous day job was in factories with noise everywhere and I remember the stress office being so quiet in comparison, at the time it reminded me of a group of medieval monks illuminating manuscripts. My boss at the time, Ken Whitworth, ran a tight ship and within weeks I was in trouble for chatting too much! Safe to say that not much has changed on that front.
As you’ve progressed in your career, what has been your favourite role so far?
I really enjoyed the personal technical challenge of being a Stress Engineer. I went into management early in my career and Morson Projects was my first opportunity to work at a technical level.
Are there any stand-out projects that have been a career highlight for you?
Working on the A380 was brilliant and definitely a career highlight for me. It’s such a privilege to have been involved in so many aspects of this iconic aircraft from aero-structures design, check-stress, manufacturing tooling and sub-assembly transportation.
There are many more favourite projects, but another stand-out one for me was the Jubilee Line Train overhaul project. It was a project I did completely on my own from an engineering perspective with help from Paul Moogan at Morson Talent for the resourcing. We got the 6-year overhaul time-frames down from 6 weeks per train to 1.5 weeks, which was incredible and saved the client a huge amount of time and money.
Tell us one of your favourite Morson memories…
There are so many… A lot of them involving flights with Steve Viner and Jon Allday over the North Sea at 1200 ft trying to get out of bad weather on the way to Dounreay!
The key thing that stands out for me is the matrix of involvement the teams have had in so many industries bringing to bear so many different skills; problem solving many diverse problems from nuclear decommissioning, saving weight in an aircraft wing, designing waste to energy plants, overhauling London underground trains to de-bottlenecking Branston Pickles production.
That being said, my favourite memories are of the people I have worked closely with over the years, so many characters with such positive attitudes. It truly is the people that are the magic of Morson Projects.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen across the industry throughout your career?
When I started at Morson Projects there were 247 of us, now we are a workforce that is on the way to 1000 people.
In 2001 there were still drawing boards in the office and CAD was still new. Now Morson Projects is as much a software house as it is an engineering solution provider. As I look back the biggest change is the capability of our young people, they are far more capable than most people from my generation were at their age.
One of the biggest reasons that Morson Projects success has accelerated in recent years is down to our very talented ‘new generation’, and I look forward to seeing where that takes us over the coming years.