Hi everyone, my name is Alvina Chung and I’m a second year Graduate Site Engineer at Lendlease. I completed my first rotation working on a commercial tower at 555 Collins Street in Melbourne but have since relocated to Katherine in the Northern Territory to work on the New Air Movements Terminal (NAMT) project within the RAAF Tindal Redevelopment & KC-30A Facilities Defence project out in Tindal.
What does your day look like?
5.15am – first alarm, automatically hit the snooze button.
5.30am – second alarm, time to get out of bed, do some stretches and get ready for the day.
5.50am – out the door with my phone, wallet, keys, lunch and gym bag for the 20 -25 min drive to work.
You arrive on site/in the office, how do you begin your day? How do you prepare for the day ahead, what does this include?
6.15 – arrive in the office, fill up my water bottle, grab my PPE and jump into my Foreman’s Hilux and together we’ll head out to the daily Pre-Start.
6.30am – Daily Prestart
Every morning the Subcontractor we manage on the project will run a Daily Pre-Start to make any important announcements and raise any safety issues or any general concerns on site. Typically, the Site Supervisor will provide a summary of works performed the day prior, and announce what the exclusion zones, high risk works and major plant that will be operating for the day.
6.40am – Status program (Site Walk)
After Pre-start I’ll do a site walk with my Foreman to status the current 4-Weekly Program provided to us each week by our Subcontractor. It’s a great exercise to see how works are progressing on site and note down of any issues from the previous day, any potential delays or impact to upcoming works.
7.30am - Breakfast and setting up for a successful day
When I’m back in the office, I’ll make myself some toast, coffee and return to my desk to check my outlook calendar and planner to remind myself what meetings and tasks I have planned for the day.
7.45am – Reviewing RFI’s/Site walk
Working in construction can be unpredictable and requires you to be adaptable to change. Sometimes a site walk is required to address any major design/buildability issues and the Subcontractor will formalise these via and RFI (Request for Information). Other times, it may mean checking drawings and specifications before liaising with the design consultant for more information or a combination of both.
However, RFI’s (Request for Information) are a priority and need to be addressed as soon as possible as some queries/issues may hold up works on site until they are resolved. I’ll issue out any new RFI’s and follow up with the relevant stakeholder for any outstanding RFI’s that require close out.
9am –Pre-pour reinforcement inspection (Site walk)
Where there is a requirement for reinforced concrete, the reinforcement installed needs to be checked on site prior to concrete being poured. The project team and I will check for correct spacing, concrete cover, lap length, sizing and design requirements and advise the subcontractor to make any necessary adjustments before arranging a formal inspection with our structural consultant for their review and approval. Photos are taken as supporting evidence and the consultant will issue out a formal report and provide the go-ahead to proceed with the concrete pour.
10am - Subcontractor meeting – 7 day lookahead
My Project Engineer, Foreman, Site Manager, and I will have a meeting with the Subcontractor Site Supervisor and Foreman to discuss their work activities that are scheduled for the week ahead against their 4-Weekly program. We use this meeting as a forum to discuss how works are progressing on site as well as any upcoming activities that may require further co-ordination or logistic planning with other stakeholders (given we are working on a live Defence Base).
11am – Checking delivery of material (Site walk)
Delivery of materials usually arrive mid-late morning. Part of our quality control is to check and verify that the correct and approved material has been delivered to site.
Not a lot of food options out here in Tindal so my colleagues and I usually meal prep and bring our own lunches. With a large project team, various conversations are always happening around the dining table as we socialise and get to know one another on a more personal level. We also have a massage chair in the lounge room so if it’s free I’ll sneak in a 15min massage before getting back to work!
12.30pm – Site walk
Once a month each of our consultants will come out to site to do their monthly site walk. This presents an opportunity to discuss more complicated RFI’s onsite with all parties present. At the conclusion of the walk the consultants will issue out a report that details any defects or items that need to be rectified by the Subcontractor.
1.00pm - Workflows
We have an extensive review and approval Workflow process for Defence type projects. The Subcontractor needs to submit all samples, shop drawings, ITPs, SWMS and construction methodology for review and approval by consultants and Lendlease prior to commencing any works on site. Typically, I am assigned as the first reviewer and will spend time cross-checking the document submitted by our Subcontractor against the Specifications and Drawings provided by our consultants to make sure what has been submitted meets our design intent and Lendlease GMR (Global Minimum Requirement) requirements.
3.30pm – 4pm Weekly check-in meeting
Once a week I’ll check in with my Project Engineer who is managing this project. In this meeting we’ll reflect on how I’m tracking in general and set some new goals and tasks that need prioritising for the week ahead.
4pm – 4.30pm Check emails and planning for the next day
I’ll spend this time in the afternoon to catch up on emails and plan what tasks I need to prioritise for the next day.
4.30pm – 5pm Wrap up and finish for the day
Anywhere between 4.30pm and 5pm I will wrap up and finish for the day. I’ll make my way to the gym to get a workout in before heading back home for dinner. After dinner and showering I like to unwind by watching an episode of my favourite show or get stuck in my kindle before heading to bed to do it all again the next day!
You have finished work for the day, what do you do in the evenings to relax and unwind? Does this include any post work activities?
What is your top 3 things that you love about the Lendlease Graduate Program/working for Lendlease and why?
- In no particular order!
- 1. Lendlease is involved in many different sectors within the construction industry such as commercial, residential, hospital, defence, and education just to name a few. This means that there is opportunity to work on different types of projects, face new challenges and learn new skillsets throughout your career which is an exciting prospect! It’s one of the reasons why I decided to make the most of the rotation aspect of the Grad Program and chose a Defence project which is something completely different to what I have worked on in the past.
- 2. There is a huge support network for Graduates and employees at Lendlease. My team, colleagues, peers, and senior managers are always helpful with answering questions, providing guidance and support when needed. On this particular project we do a lot of social activities outside of work which creates a family like culture making working in a remote location such a positive experience.
- 3. The Lendlease Grad Program is unique and will challenge you in many ways however it is designed to develop us future leaders within the business. I love the additional workshops and training, networking and volunteering opportunities provided as they further assist with our career and professional development.