Building Foundations: Jack Bowlt

Jack Bowlt2

Today we catch up with Jack Bowlt, one of our Graduate Structural Engineers working in Webb Yates Engineers’ Bristol Office. He is well travelled, experienced in designing elegant stone stairs and most importantly from one of the most beautiful countries in the world: Scotland.

How long have you been at Webb Yates Engineers?

I have been at Webb Yates Engineers in the Bristol office since July 2018, just over a year.

Where are you from? What do you miss about home?

I am from a small town in the North of Scotland called Elgin.

What I miss most about home is being close to family and friends. Before to moving down south, I lived in Glasgow. I have so many memories there and I always get butterflies going back.

On the other hand, I really love Bristol. It is a great city with friendly people and lots going on. In Summer, there are festivals on at the weekends and this year I went to a different one every weekend for six weeks in a row! The weather in Bristol is not too shabby too.

Where did you study? How does working in practice differ from your University experience?

I studied at the University of Glasgow.

I find working in an office much more collaborative. The Bristol office is a small team, so everyone is working towards the same common goal and we encourage each other to do our best.

On the other hand, I found University a more competitive atmosphere with everyone focused on getting good individual exam results. I loved the design project courses as you had a bit more creative freedom and teamwork was essential.

Which Webb Yates Engineers project that you’ve worked on are you most proud of and why?

I would say the Hanoi Stair. It was the first stair (and stone!) project that I have been involved with and I found it very challenging. At the time it was a steep learning curve, but in hindsight I learned loads.

Why did you choose a career in engineering?

I chose engineering for two reasons.

Firstly, I enjoyed maths and physics at school.

Secondly, I was inspired by a childhood friend of my mum who is a geologist. Throughout his career, he has worked all over the world and when I was around 16, we went to visit him and his family in South Africa. He took my dad and myself on a tour of the hydroelectrical power scheme site he was working on. He explained the different features of the scheme and pointed out parts where he had influenced the design. It was very impressive to see the physical result and how it would make a real difference to people’s lives. I also liked the idea of working in different locations around the world and it seemed like a good passport.

Where is your favourite country you have visited and why?

Hmmm it is very hard to decide… but I had a great time visiting Brazil. 

A good friend of mine married a Brazilian lady and I went over for the wedding and then spent a couple of weeks travelling around. I had a blast! Everyone was very welcoming, and I thought the country was beautiful. I brought my kilt over for the wedding which went down a treat with the middle-aged Brazilians ladies - I felt like a celebrity!

What are your ambitions for the future?

My next professional goal is to become a chartered Structural Engineer. I would like to continue working on interesting projects and to keep improving my skills and knowledge.