NEWS Practice

A Day in the Life of….Simon Cathrine, Project Director – Middle East

Each month Hilson Moran profiles one of its staff in our news section. This month is the turn of Simon Cathrine, Project Director – Middle East.

Name: Simon Cathrine

Role: Project Director for the design and delivery of projects in the Middle East. I lead the Hilson Moran multi-disciplinary team of designer engineers and modelling team in addition to external partners.

Training: Electrical Design Engineer, Building Services Design, Project Management

Joined HM: 2016

Favourite HM Project: FIFA Secret Stadium

Loves: Skydiving, Scuba Diving, Cycling, Motorbikes, Travel, Dune Bashing, Sailing, General Fitness (although you can’t tell at the moment) All things geeky, socialising and general drinking.  Being happy.

Dislikes: Being unhappy! Unreliable, inconsiderate, selfish disrespectful people. Sprouts!

Since moving to the UAE, my wife and I have been adopted by 5 cats. We also feed and care for a colony of strays, so my day usually begins anytime from 3am, when they demand to be fed or to play or both. Of late I have spent much of my time working away from home in Qatar, so I do occasionally get some respite!

When possible, before work I will either run, cycle or gym in an attempt to train for a triathlon…but we won’t talk about that right now! I feel much more productive if I get a chance to train before work.

A typical day is an early start in the office: The 1 or 2 hours before everyone else arrives is the most productive. I take this opportunity to set out the day and week ahead. My current projects are very demanding in terms of deliverables and timescales, so the biggest challenge is keeping everyone involved up to date with latest developments and key milestones.

The most challenging aspect of daily life is coordinating across the many disciplines, cultures, countries, languages and time zones we work with at Hilson Moran. Google translate has become one of my go-to websites. Especially when receiving emails in Korean.

My typical day usually includes a project workshop – either video conference or face to face and often with participants from many worldwide locations. Yesterday’s was Seoul, South Korea; San Diego, USA; Doha, Qatar; and here, in UAE. Makes for an interesting time.

Each and every day is a challenge (and a frustration), but this is the exciting part. I consider myself very fortunate to have the opportunity to work within this environment. The team here is great and made up of 7 different nationalities and cultures. The wider client and contractor teams more than double that number. Where else would you get that exposure?

I am involved with and direct technical discussions and workshops, business development, technical deliverables, internal staff development and project delivery. Timely and successful delivery of my projects, however, sits firmly with me. I work closely with my team to assist with achieving any goals and milestones.

Where-ever I am working in the region, no two days are the same and every day is a school day. Anything can, and often does, happen.

My day ends with a nice drive along the Abu Dhabi Corniche homeward bound. Being, again, very fortunate, my typical day will end with a beer or a G&T at my home bar, watching dolphins just off shore from the patio as the sun sets. No better way to chill. Although the outside temperature is 40° plus right now!

Yep, very fortunate.

Hilson Moran @HilsonMoran

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