Gary Snedden - Engineer - AECOM

Issued: Tue, 18 Aug 2020 00:00:00 BST

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

In the first year of my career I had the opportunity to work on the Forth Rail Bridge.

Tell us about your career journey so far

I joined AECOM in September 2014 after graduating from the University of Edinburgh. I work in the rail bridges team in Glasgow. Over the course of the past 6 years, I have had the opportunity to work on the assessment and design of railway bridges all over Scotland. The highest profile project that I have worked on is the Aberdeen to Inverness Improvement Project (Phase 1) which covered major upgrades to the railway between the two cities.

In the summer of 2017, I did a secondment with Network Rail for 3 months in the Asset Protection team. I spent the first half of 2020 on secondment to AECOM’s Newcastle office, performing bridge assessments for several railway bridges in England.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

Physics as I was always interested in how things work.

What subjects/qualifications are useful for your role?

I use Maths and Physics every day in my role.

What is a normal day in your role like?

I spend the majority of my time in the office where I use Microsoft Excel and other computer programs to check the strength of bridges. I sometimes use computer models to check how a bridge behaves. On occasion, I get sent to do bridge inspections and surveys. This typically involves measuring the size of the bridge and taking pictures of and recording any damage or deterioration on the bridge. When doing bridge inspections, I get to go onto the railway (when no trains are running!) to see things up close.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I enjoy having the opportunity to work on bridges that I see on a regular basis or have travelled over. I like knowing that I am helping make the world more accessible for people.

Can you suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work? 

The Bridge Builder game allows you to build and test a bridge:


If you're a STEM Ambassador in Scotland and want to share your story you can download the form here.