NEWS Practice

A Day in the Life of….David McKenna, Principal Sustainability Consultant

Each month Hilson Moran profiles one of its staff in our news section. This month is the turn of David McKenna, Principal Sustainability Consultant – Qatar

Name: Dave McKenna

Role: Principal Sustainability Consultant in the Middle East

Training: Environmental Engineering, MBA, LEED, GSAS

Joined HM: 2016

Favourite HM Project: Ras Abu Aboud World Cup Stadium

Loves: Travelling to new places, especially with my wife and two kids. Following the Hurling & Football GAA action from Ireland and coaching Gaelic Football to kids in Doha. Binge watching on a good Netflix series. Listening to interesting podcast stories (while working). Socialising with friends.

Dislikes: Working crazy long hours for weeks on end! Doing housework after working crazy long hours. Rude and aggressive people, especially those driving on Qatar roads.

My wife and I moved to Qatar in 2012 and we live with our two kids in a compound villa in the suburbia of Doha. A typical day for me starts about 5 am, when I wake up and head to the gym next door for a workout – mostly some light jogging on the treadmill these days. Then I have breakfast with my wife, who leaves for her work about 6.10am. Around this time, my son usually appears and we go wake up my daughter.

After helping the kids to get some breakfast and get dressed, I attempt to get myself sorted for work. It inevitably ends up being a mad rush to get lunches, shoes, school-kit, and kids packed into the car. Then I drop the kids off at school about 7.30am and reach my office at around 8 am.

For the past year, I’ve been primarily working on the sustainability certification of two 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium projects. My typical day is very hectic and it’s a juggling act between attending meetings and delivering the documentation to meet all project delivery deadlines. On top of this, I’m always involved in bidding and preparing papers to deliver at conferences. As the only sustainability ‘guy’ in the office, I have to organise and plan my work carefully to avoid missing anything and to keep on top of business development, while still meeting all project deliverables. It’s a bit like trying to walk, talk and chew gum at the same time.

Given the scale and complexity of the projects Hilson Moran are delivering here, it’s a great place to be working and I enjoy being part of the hard-working team of Hilson Moran’s newest international office in Qatar. The next few years are going to be really exciting for Qatar as it gears up for 2022. Hopefully, this will translate into lots more successful projects and more growth for the Hilson Moran internationally.

Before finishing up about 6pm, I try to cross off my to-do lists and plan for the next day. I’ll get ready for the next day meeting, especially if they are out of the office. By 6.30pm, I’ll be arriving home and I’ll help my wife get the dinner ready. My kids will be out playing with their friends and they’ll come in when it gets dark or by 7 pm. If there is some time left and the weather is not too windy or hot, I might head for a swim – otherwise, it’s straight to the sofa to watch some TV.

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