September 21, 2022

Meet Our Principal Electrical Engineer, Richard Hinchcliffe – Q+A

Richard Hinchcliffe, Principal Electrical Engineer talks trainee through drawings

Richard joined the business in 2012 as a trainee, and we recently sat down with him to discuss his progression within Concertus and how he’s balanced studying alongside his day-to-day work.

Talk me through your progression at Concertus

I joined the business in 2012 as a Trainee Electrical Engineer. Soon after this, I started my Building Services Engineering Honours Degree at London South Bank University which allowed me to have a better understanding of building design and the mechanical and electrical engineering aspects of buildings. I enjoyed being able to learn about the most up to date topics in the industry whilst putting what I’ve learnt into practice at work. I soon became an Intermediate Electrical Engineer and then progressed to Electrical Engineer at Concertus after successfully finishing my degree in 2017.

I wanted to push myself further however and decided to undertake a Masters Degree in Sustainable Energy Systems. Net Zero is a top priority of Concertus which is what helped me decide to learn more about this topic, so I could help the company achieve its goals. This was a two-year course which I successfully passed in 2019. Since then, I have been promoted to Senior and then I became a Principal Electrical Engineer in 2021. I manage a team of Mechanical & Electrical professionals and my role has a real balance of overseeing their workload alongside my own. My responsibilities have grown significantly over the years, and I love being able to work alongside and lead a talented team.

Being Chartered has always been my end goal and I’ve set myself targets to make that happen as my next focus.

Why did you decide to study for your qualifications whilst working at Concertus?

I have always wanted to push myself to become the best version that I can be. My drive to improve and hone my skills aligns with Concertus’ approach too which is why I feel I’ve enjoyed the career journey here that I’ve had. Concertus always support your journey and want you to grow within the business, they challenge you to improve.

I believe that completing training courses through your role works well in our industry as studying while working go hand in hand. I feel that this approach is not only beneficial for the person doing it because working while studying allows you to gain hands on experience, but it allows you to apply learnings from your course to actual live projects, and vice versa. Gaining both your qualification and your professional experience at the same times means you are constantly learning and can improve your knowledge. The accreditations we work towards at Concertus are recognised everywhere so it allows people to see that you have put the work in and is something for you to feel proud of.

I was also lucky to have had a really good mentor in Keith Baker who works within the team as a Senior Electrical Engineer. Keith coached me and was someone that I could lean on for advice and bounce ideas off, which I still do! It made the experience so much easier, and I am grateful for it. Those who have completed qualifications then become mentors themselves to help support the next generation and it is something I really enjoy doing.

What advice would you give to current or future trainees?

If you feel you are in the right career, and in the right role, I would highly recommend going to University alongside your job. I’m lucky to be working at Concertus where this is very much encouraged. The people working here are incredibly supportive too, because many have taken that path, so they have first-hand experience and understand the challenges.

The construction industry is constantly evolving due to changes in regulation and you learn every day because things are changing and moving regularly. Every project you work on is unique. I would definitely recommend you do your own research on specific topics, find a part of the job you are particularly interested in, find out as much as possible about what is happening in the world, and push yourself to become an expert in that field.