Role: Principal Engineer (Rivers)
Career Area: Engineering Design
My role at SYSTRA
As a Principal Engineer (Rivers) and the Professional Head of the Rivers Team, my main role involves improving the technical skills of my team in close collaboration with the Team Lead and Senior Design Manager.
I am also accountable for ensuring the delivery of designs meet compliance standards, with specific emphasis on my expertise in scour design.
Additionally, I have the responsibility of overseeing effective coordination and communication between my team and other disciplines, including the Drainage Team, to ensure smooth integration and achieve successful outcomes for our projects.
My career journey
My journey has been shaped by a strong educational background in Civil and Marine Structures Engineering. From there, I furthered my expertise by pursuing a PhD in River Engineering, and a post-doctoral on bridge scour. Following my academic pursuits, in 2018 I made the big transition from academia into the industry, where I began working as a Hydraulic and River Engineer.
This pivotal moment opened doors for me, allowing me to apply my theoretical knowledge to real-life projects, collaborate with skilled colleagues, and gain invaluable practical insights along the way. This experience, alongside my ICE Chartership, paved the way for me to join SYSTRA as a Principal Engineer (Rivers) and Professional Head of the Rivers Team.
We asked Mohsen…
When did you realise this was the career path for you?
After four years of dedicated work in Consulting, I achieved a significant milestone in my professional journey – I obtained my ICE Chartership! This recognition marked a turning point, instilling in me a newfound confidence and a desire to seek fresh challenges. At this point I felt prepared to explore new frontiers and broaden my expertise in environmental hydraulics and its interface with various structures, so I decided to join SYSTRA. It was an excellent time to join SYSTRA as I had a good knowledge about the team; was aware of the support the company provides in terms of professional development; and I knew how fast the company’s Environmental Services offering was (and still is) growing – I’m really passionate about being part of the evolution that SYSTRA is going through!
Have you got any words of wisdom for someone starting out in a similar role?
Embrace your passions, trust in your abilities, and strive to pursue a path that enables you to make a meaningful contribution to the world.
Believing in yourself and your capabilities is crucial. Have confidence in your skills, knowledge and experiences that have led you to this position. Seek out projects and collaborations that align with your values and allow you to contribute positively to society. Whether it’s advancing sustainable practices, promoting innovation, or fostering teamwork, ensure that your work leaves a lasting and beneficial impression.
Above all, maintain a passion for your work, build strong relationships with your team, and remain dedicated to continuous improvement.
How does SYSTRA stand out from the rest as a Great Place to Work?
What sets SYSTRA apart is the genuine sense of family throughout the organisation. At SYSTRA you are not just an employee – you are valued as an integral part of the company’s fabric.
One of the standout aspects is the unwavering support provided by the company (and line managers) for personal and professional development. SYSTRA understands the importance of developing talents, and they actively invest in colleagues’ growth, providing resources, training opportunities and mentorship to help people reach their full potential.
Furthermore, at SYSTRA you are seen as a trusted, mature and committed individual, and the company recognises and appreciates everyone’s unique skills, experiences and contributions. There is an atmosphere of mutual respect and empowerment, allowing colleagues to not only thrive in their roles, but also to really make a meaningful impact.
Working at SYSTRA feels like more than just a job – it feels like being part of a truly supportive and empowering community.
With such power in diversity, what unique perspective do you bring to the table?
With significant experience gained from working across 3 continents and delivering technical presentations in 5 countries, I definitely feel like I bring a unique and valuable perspective to the table. This diverse background has grown in me an enthusiasm for collaborating with teams from different cultures and backgrounds. What sets me apart is not only my passion for diversity, but also my rare technical skillset. I’m confident that I possess a range of specialised technical skills, which enable me to contribute effectively towards one of SYSTRA’s goals of finding innovative engineering solutions that positively impact the environment and community.
Where is the place that has inspired you the most?
I would definitely say Singapore due to its remarkable blue-green infrastructure concept. Singapore’s commitment for sustainable urban development and environmental betterment is truly inspiring. The city-state has implemented innovative solutions such as green rooftops, vertical gardens and extensive tree planting in order to enhance biodiversity, improve air quality and mitigate the urban heat island effect. It’s very impressive!
What does true sustainability really mean to you?
To me, true sustainability means integrating our environment with enhanced community life. As an Engineer, I recognise the transformative potential within my field, and I am committed to contributing to a sustainable future. I prioritise nature-based solutions and seek to harmoniously blend nature and infrastructure. Preserving ecosystems whilst addressing engineering challenges is paramount, and I am resolute in my dedication to being part of projects that achieve this delicate balance.
What would a green future look like?
A green future is one where sustainable practices and environmental consciousness shape decision-making and lifestyles. It requires implementing nature-based solutions; embracing renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydro; promoting sustainable transportation such as electric vehicles; and fostering a culture of sustainable consumption.
How do you look after your wellbeing outside of work?
To prioritise my wellbeing outside of work, I dedicate quality time to my loved ones, engage in regular physical exercise, practice sleep meditation, maintain a balanced diet, and indulge in personal hobbies like graphic design.
If you could spend your lunchbreak with someone you really admire, who would you choose?
I would choose my best friend – my spouse. The time I spend with them is endlessly thrilling!
If you had to pick, which mode of transport would you use for the rest of your life?
If I had to choose, assuming the technology is advanced enough, I would opt for a self-driving electric car. This choice aligns with my values of environmental sustainability whilst offering the convenience and efficiency of an electric vehicle. However, in our current day and age, I would pick a bicycle as my preferred mode of transport! Not only is it a sustainable option, but it also promotes mental and physical wellbeing and proves to be cost-effective in the long run.