Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

Abdullah Bhalli

Graduate Site Engineer: Galliford Try

Abdullah graduated in 2017 with a BEng in Civil Engineering. Now a Graduate Site Engineer, he is part of the team behind the M1 'Smart' motorway upgrade.

Why did you choose to study Civil Engineering at Loughborough University?

I chose Loughborough for its great worldwide recognition and even greater industry links.

How has Loughborough University inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

Loughborough has always encouraged to pursue excellence in the smallest of tasks, this has now become one of my key skills.

Seniors at my workplace who are also Loughborough University graduates all have a very similar nature and style of working, hence there is definitely a sense of belonging to the same family.

Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?

Enjoy your course and soak up as much material as possible, knowledge you gain during your degree will be used in your career in one way or another (not always directly). A well-enjoyed course will lead to a well-enjoyed profession.

Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?

I took part in various society works within LSU and even work part-time for a café in Loughborough town centre. This made my time at Loughborough more enjoyable as I made some great relations and everlasting memories.

Can you tell us about your career journey so far?

I undertook a 12-month placement after the second year of my degree, where I worked for a SME Architectural Firm (Weston Williamson & Partners). Here I was employed as an Assistant Design Manager and an Assistant Commercial Manager over six-month periods on Crossrail's Paddington Station Project.

I could not have asked for a better introduction to the industry, the mixed experience enabling me to look at construction from both an engineer’s and non-engineer’s point of view.

I completed my degree after returning from the placement and then joined Galliford Try two weeks after graduation. With Galliford Try being a contractor, it is very different to the design office I was in during my placement.

I had purposely wanted to get more involved with site-based tasks because I wanted to practically see stuff being built. The greatest difficulty whilst working in a design office was to consistently be imagining construction in your head and the sequence of works.

Working with Galliford Try, I am now much more aware of the practical side of construction, and the physical factors affected by design and construction.

Can you tell us more about Galliford Try, who you currently work for?

Galliford Try is a leading housebuilding, regeneration and construction group, is a constituent member of the FTSE 250 and is the only company to be both at Top 10 UK contractor and a Top 10 housebuilder. 

We operate as three strong and profitable businesses; Linden Homes, Partnerships & Regeneration and Construction and Investments, which combined gave us revenues for the past financial year of more than £2.7 billion.

With a vast range of public, private and regulated clients, our projects positively impact local communities.  We deliver the houses that people make a home and the buildings where people work, learn and relax. We also build the road, rail and aviation networks that connect communities with each other.

What do you love the most about your job?

I love being able to work within a team of highly skilled engineers that are delivering projects to make our future sustainable. Being surrounded by great talent bring the best out of me and drives me to perform in a manner where I out-do myself.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

As I have been working for only 15 months since graduation, my proudest moment was when I started a project on the M1 where we were upgrading the road to Smart motorway between J23A to J25.

As this project was very close to Loughborough, it gave me a feeling of joy and a sense of contribution back to Loughborough for all those amazing years.

Furthermore, my extra efforts were recognised by the project team when I was announced ‘Player of the Month’ for “going the extra mile at work” out of 129 office staff.

What does the future hold for you?

With the variety of work that Galliford Try can offer, I look forward to working on varied projects throughout my career and to take on the ongoing opportunities to learn and experience new challenges.


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Loughborough University
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