Susan Temple, Senior Engineer, Hawkins

Susan Temple joined Hawkins in 2010 as a Compliance Manager, and since then has moved up the ranks, becoming a Site Manager, an Engineer, a Project Engineer, a Project Manager in Vanuatu and now Senior Engineer with the Hawkins Wellington team.

“I have been in New Zealand for 16 years now, where I was initially employed by Mainzeal. I resigned from them in 2009 for a brief term with Layher Scaffold as their Australasian Engineer, prior to joining Hawkins.”

Susan has always worked in the construction industry – apart from a couple of part-time waitressing jobs back in the UK – but it wasn’t the career path she initially imagined she would follow.

“As a kid, I intended to follow my Dad into the Army. He was a bandsman and it seemed like an easy option. However I got swept up in the idea of being an engineer and the Army training took a long time to get there. I also (slowly) realised that I needed to be independent and my personality wouldn’t suit the Army at all – I would find it too stifling.”

Susan says the construction industry offers excellent opportunities to anyone who’s prepared to work hard.

“It may sound old-fashioned, but I believe there’s no substitute for hard work and a positive attitude. Listen well and learn from the people around you, and don’t be afraid to speak up. Take all the training that’s offered and if you get the chance to travel, use your career to see the world.

“I think the training and career path Hawkins offers into construction roles is excellent. There are also opportunities for those who want to take a different route or branch out.”

Susan says her colleagues at Hawkins have been very supportive of her career development.

“The Lower North leadership team have been a great support. I also really enjoy collaborating with the HSE team – it’s been great to be able to share experience and advice in that area.

“Working for Hawkins has given me some pretty amazing opportunities and interesting challenges. From working in Vanuatu to working at Wellington International Airport – where I was responsible for designing and implementing the temporary works. This allowed the new structure to be constructed over the existing passenger thoroughfares, without any impact on the day-to-day operations.”

Susan was also invited to take part in Downer’s WILD (Women in Leadership Development) course in 2019,

“Right now, I’m working across all projects in the Wellington Region whether during tender, Early Contractor Involvement, or delivery stages. It is challenging because I get to be involved in everything that we do here (as well as in other parts of the country sometimes too). I’m constantly learning from the many different people, processes and techniques I encounter. The main challenge is that there are not enough hours in the day, and I’m constantly adjusting priorities to try and help everyone!”