"I create the design basis for our large building projects"


Senior design manager Ulla Lind has been with MT Højgaard since she finished her education 15 years ago. She has great respect for her colleagues’ knowledge, and she has always experienced MT Højgaard as a place with room for at life outside of the job. She wants us to be careful with the sentence “can’t you just…?”. Read why right here.

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- A few years ago, I was part of a very challenging refurbishment project. The building was handed over to the client, and the tenant was ready to open the doors. Then we got one of those e-mails you don’t forget.

In the summer of 2006, the MT Højgaards department for project design in Aalborg was busy as ever. I just finished my Master of Engineering, and I got a job for the summer. The tasks were challenging, and that didn’t change when I got my permanent employment shortly after. Ever since that summer my auto signature has said MT Højgaard.

You can do a lot in one and a half decade. As senior design manager I’ve made my way around a lot of different building projects. I’ve worked with offshore wind turbine foundations, housing- and school projects and subway stations. I’ve also worked six years in Søborg. The flexibility of our offices made it possible for me to move to Copenhagen without having to find a new job. Today I’m working on the project design of a DSB workshop in Aarhus.

Freedom for the individual

In some companies the managers keep an eye on when the employees arrive and leave. I’ve never had that experience in MT Højgaard Danmark. I’ve always had freedom with responsibility, and it has made my everyday life easier especially after I’ve had children. My managers have always been happy as long as I’ve completed my tasks well. The faith that we can do our jobs has always shined through.

My title is senior design manager. It's my responsibility to ensure collaboration between the consultants. That is helping them helping us. I ensure the foundation for their work so they can ensure the buildability. Simply put I create the design basis for our large building projects. It is exiting and satisfying to make different disciplines, clients, authorities, and consultants come together.

- I keep getting better, and that’s because of the projects.

Engineers stepped up when things were falling apart

 A few years ago, I was part of a very challenging refurbishment project. The building was handed over to the client, and the tenant was ready to open the doors. Then we got one of those e-mails you don’t forget. It was the consultant telling us that their calculations of the bearing constructions were inadequate. We really didn’t know if the building could bear.

Luckily, we have very skilled engineers in MT Højgaard Danmark. People who can calculate bearing capacity and help when things are close to falling apart. They dropped everything they had to make the necessary calculations and gave us a basis to strengthen the building. I have a lot of respect for the knowledge it takes to deliver exactly what is needed in a tense situation. It’s very inspiring to be surrounded with colleagues like that.

“Can’t you just…?”

Even though we can work under pressure I think that it’s dangerous to force tasks through. During my career I’ve sometimes been asked “can’t the consultant just…?”. Typically, that question comes from a collaborator or a colleague who needs input as fast as possible. I think it’s a prejudice about engineers that we can finish our work fast. We can’t if the result is supposed to be good. I understand where the question is coming from. We work with projects, and we all want to move on. But we need enough time if we want the standards to be high.

The projects make me better

Today, I work in MT Højgaard Danmark’s section Special Projects. We work with huge projects for both danish and international clients. I like the big projects. I keep getting better, and that’s because of the projects. During my 15 years they have provided a variation in what I do, and that’s why my job stays exiting.

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