Two Minutes With… Marc Nadim

Name: Marc Nadim                                                                                                            

Company:  Arup                                                                                                           

Position:  Associate Director Property, Science and Industry                                                                                                              

What do you actually do day-to-day? I lead a talented team of built environment engineers who design buildings to withstand everything nature can throw at them, while optimising its internal environment, and minimise its energy usage. This can mean my day is filled with solving complex technical challenges, handling fees, contracts, project financials, seeking new project opportunities, mentoring, and supporting the team. 

Have you ever had a mentor? If so, who? Yes, I worked closely with an engineer who was instrumental in shaping me as a structural engineer. One time, we’d designed a steel truss to divert the load away from an existing column so we could remove it. The column was carrying eight storeys of solid masonry and concrete floors, the forces were massive, and any mistake would collapse the entire building. I stood transfixed as they cut the column but he cooly sauntered off much to everyone’s surprise. I asked him why he’d walked away so soon into the cutting, and he just said, ‘it worked – the cut didn’t close up which meant our truss was taking the strain’. He was right, it did work, and the building is still standing to this day.

Does money motivate you?  Yes, insofar as it provides a comfortable lifestyle for me and my family. Growing up, money was tight, and I appreciate it’s value but I’m not driven by it.

What has been the most important event in your working life? Becoming a Chartered Civil Engineer, it is the culmination of getting my Master of Engineering degree and years of on-the-job training and experience.

Who do you most admire? I’m admiring Angela Rayner Labour Deputy Leader now. I have no Labour party affiliation but listening to podcast interviews she’s a great communicator on a human level and her back story is incredible. She’s a great advert for social mobility and feminism.

What does leadership mean to you? Leadership in my context is defining the objective and bringing a collection of individuals with different skillsets, personalities, desires, and motivations together and pulling in the same direction to achieve the objective. It’s also about supporting and empowering people and making key decisions when others can’t or won’t.

What’s your favourite TV programme? Breaking Bad. I’ve watched it 5 times. The character development and storyline are genius as a terminally ill high school chemistry teacher and his former student, a low level drug dealer, try and sell their chemically pure drug to the underworld. 

How do you relax? Exercise is my great pressure release. Cycling, running, fitness and yoga classes keep me level, energised and positive. Also watching YouTube – restoration of old watches is surprisingly relaxing.

Fry up or healthy smoothie? It’s got to be a smoothie, but I do like a good old fry up now and again.

Pub or club? Club playing old school rave classics that you can lose yourself in on the dance floor.

Gym or countryside walk? Gym as it’s more convenient living in a city but I do love a good walk in the countryside.

Favourite piece of music? It’s a Wonderful Life by Black who were an 80’s Liverpool Band. It’s my touchstone, the one song that I keep going back to even after all these years.

Flannels or Florence & Fred? Flannels, although I did have some F&F work shirts that lasted me years and have a second life as rags to clean my bikes. Not sure I would do that with clothes from Flannels.

Birkdale or Birkenhead? Neither I was born and bred in Liverpool.