Youthful ideas changing the piling industry

Skanska operations manager Balint Madar received the Early Career Professional Award at the recent Federation of Piling Specialists' annual awards ceremony in London. GDI finds out why.
Youthful ideas changing the piling industry Youthful ideas changing the piling industry Youthful ideas changing the piling industry Youthful ideas changing the piling industry Youthful ideas changing the piling industry

Balint Madar the recipient of the Soilmec sponsored Early Career Professional Award at this year’s Federation of Piling Specialists annual awards

Duncan Moore


Duncan Moore

Balint Madar was the recipient of the Soilmec sponsored Early Career Professional Award at this year's annual awards by the UK's Federation of Piling Specialists. Madar, who is operations manager, London Area with Cementation Skanska began his career path into the construction industry studying civil engineering at Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

He continued his studies in the UK at The University of Sheffield and Imperial College London where he gained an MSc before returning to Hungary in 2013 and joining Soletanche Bachy Hungary. While there he worked in Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic and Slovakia gaining knowledge in various piling and ground engineering techniques in multicultural and international environments before joining Cementation Skanska in the UK in 2014

Madar takes up the story of his career progression: "Between October 2018 and May 2019, I took part in Skanska's global leadership programme, aimed at supporting emerging talent. I worked as a part of an international team and presented a business proposal to the Global Skanska Leadership Team in Stockholm."

That programme also included a secondment to HS2, working as part of the Skanska Costain Strabag (SCS) joint venture doing ground investigations for one of Europe's biggest engineering projects.

"After I completed the leadership programme and became a Chartered Civil Engineer recognised by the Institution of Civil Engineers, I re-joined Cementation Skanska as an operations manager for London in April 2019."

Talking about his current role, Madar explains: "I heavily rely on the knowledge and experience I gained as a project manager working on large piling projects in London.

"I mainly focus on two areas; supporting tenders by understanding client and project needs and developing value engineering solutions, programme and logistics options and ensuring project delivery is in line with the contract by supporting the project leads working around London.

"The increasing competition in London in recent years is pushing our team to look into new engineering solutions and build on Cementation Skanska's wide technical expertise."

It is looking for those new solutions that led Madar to receive the Early Career Professional Award from the Federation of Piling Specialists thanks to his ideas for changing the way engineers communicate on projects.

"I think engineers are very good at solving problems and coming up with solutions but not strong in communicating ideas to peers or clients," Madar says. "I feel that being able to convey a message is especially important for specialist foundations and piling as most of the time what we build is not visible.

"I developed and implemented a process (via Google Sketchup) to communicate engineering ideas, construction methodology, and standards using visual aids. These tools are also aimed to help engineers to adapt to the new ICE SPERWall (Specification for Piling and Embedded Retaining Walls) 3rd edition and ensure our site teams could identify and deliver good practice. This was later adopted by the preconstruction team and tendering to enhance customer understanding and has since aided the tender process for London projects."

These are not the only changes Madar has instigated at Cementation Skanska as he explains: "As a project lead, I concentrated on improving productivity by reporting on a project level by integrating various tools (production control, quality management systems, quality management and finances) used in the business and created dashboards and visual management reports. This enhanced internal reporting and created more clarity around the performance of our projects."

The acknowledgement Madar has received from gaining the Early Career Professional Award is motivating him to further develop processes. "It motivates me to look into further improvement opportunities for Cementation Skanska and for the wider piling industry and I am very proud and thankful to receive an award from the Federation of Piling Specialists."

It is good news for Cementation Skanska too as this is the second time in the last three years the award has gone to a member of its London business stream. Madar says that it demonstrates the strength of the company's design and operations team as well as showcasing Cementation Skanska's dedication to training, developing and supporting talent in moving the geotechnical industry forward.

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