A quintessential Australian, Chris is from a small country town called Dunedoo in central NSW. With a population of just 827, he spent his childhood years there with two sisters and brother. Chris had always been a good student, and after completing high school, he decided to move to Newcastle to study engineering.
Living on University campus, Chris relished sport, especially touch footy which saw him training seven days a week and playing representatively. “Team sports help you to socialise, so you’re able to talk to people easily. As a consultant, you need those skills. It also develops your sense of commitment, knowing your team is relying on you”, he says.
In 2003, Chris took a part-time role in a small consultancy in Newcastle. After finishing University, he worked full-time, gaining early exposure to a range of structural, geotech and stormwater projects. The experience gave him a good grounding in different facets of engineering, plus he had to deal with clients, which forced him to develop his communication skills.
Fed by a desire to work on more exciting projects, Chris joined Northrop in 2010, as a civil engineer. He progressed to a chartered professional in 2017 and is now one of our newly appointed principals.
What does Chris enjoy most about working at Northrop? “The people, it’s the thing we sell – our knowledge, our time and the people who surround me, always willing to lend a hand. We’re really lucky – it’s a sense of family,” he says. Chris also loves being able to work on high profile projects, and likes being ‘in the know.’ “Newcastle isn’t a very big place, so it’s nice to be aware of what’s happening in the industry.”
Outside of work, Chris saves his weekends for family time. He is married with two young children, William (11) and Isla (8). There’s nothing they enjoy more than going on bike rides together, pottering around the house, or making the most of the daylight savings.
Becoming principal won’t change what Chris does day-to-day. “That’s the good thing about the business. People treat it the same, even if they’re not an owner,” he says. “It’s business as usual because I already feel very invested – and I think that’s why I’m here today.”