Name: Doug Tilbury
Job title: Senior Environmental Consultant
Department: Environmental Consultancy
Doug Tilbury joined Patrick Parsons in July 2018 to support the Environmental Consultancy team, headed up by Director Josh Smithson, in our Dubai office. Here, we discuss his career to date, his day-to-day and his hopes for the future of the Patrick Parsons environmental consultancy service.
Tell us a little bit about your education and career prior to joining Patrick Parsons?
I didn’t take the most conventional route to environmental consultancy, studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. After graduating, it took me around six months of job hunting before securing a role in the unknown world of environmental consultancy. Fortunately, it all went rather well, and I’ve never looked back!
How are you settling into Patrick Parsons?
It’s got off to a great start! We have moved our Dubai office to a new location in the Dubai South complex, which is to be the home of the Dubai Expo 2020. When I began at Patrick Parsons, I dived headfirst into a 5-month stint working on the mega projects on the Saudi Arabian West Coast. I’m now primarily helping grow our footprint and project base in the Middle East as we continue to expand our team and open new avenues.
The wider Patrick Parsons team has been nothing but welcoming and I’ve really enjoyed getting to meet and work with everyone, although at this stage there are still a lot more people to get to know!
What does a typical day look like for a Senior Environmental Consultant?
It varies, but mostly includes a mix of business development and project-based work. Due to the nature of a lot of our current projects, I’m spending a fair bit of time in the field, which is always great.
As we are currently in a growth phase in the Middle East, my workload is shifting to include a variety of project types and service lines. One advantage to the wide range of services offered by our consultancy is that we are always busy – if work in one industry or service line slows down, we generally have projects in others to keep things ticking over. It also means that no two days are the same, which keeps us on our toes!
In your career to date, what are the biggest and most interesting projects you’ve been a part of?
In terms of scope, the previously mentioned Saudi projects are by far the biggest I’ve ever been involved in with some CAPEX estimates at around £500bn!
I’ve also had a keen passion for wildlife from a young age and I’ve loved working on some great ecology projects over the years, particularly spending three weeks in the UAE desert catching and relocating spiny-tailed lizards.
Working in the UAE is fascinating. It’s a real melting pot of cultural diversity and, due to the scale of the projects over here, you get to work in a hugely varied environment with people from all walks of life. It’s been a great platform from both a professional and personal standpoint and I’ve met and worked with some great people along the way.
What are your future aspirations for yourself and the environmental consultancy division at Patrick Parsons?
In the long run, I’m keen to help the team grow and take on bigger and more challenging projects, building our reputation and project portfolio in the process. The projects we are currently involved in can only accelerate this.
From a personal standpoint, I’m currently studying for an MSc in Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health through the University of Edinburgh, and I’m wanting to do a modelling assessment of the long-term effects of thermal and brine discharge into the Arabian Gulf as my thesis topic, looking at the health of not only the individual reef systems but the Gulf as a whole.
The application of hydrodynamic modelling is a fascinating field with multiple facets that can be used to make a significant difference in the way we protect the crucial resources of the marine environment. By further developing this service line at Patrick Parsons, I hope to bring us to the forefront of marine consulting in both the Middle East and further afield.
The future is very bright for Patrick Parsons and I see it as the perfect environment to develop my career and skillset in.