In 1990, a young structural engineering draughtsman named David Fletcher started his journey with Fairhurst in the Newcastle office. The draughtsmen at the time worked on full size A0 drawing boards and produced drawings on transparent sheets of paper using specially designed ink pens. You could argue that they were more of an engineering ‘artist’ back then as each drawing produced was bespoke. David worked in the Structural Engineering team for 2 years before leaving Fairhurst in 1992 to join a full time Civil Engineering Degree at Sunderland University, following his aspirations to become an Engineer.
In 1994, David successfully completed his BEng (Hons) Degree in Civil Engineering and was offered a full-time role back at Fairhurst as a Graduate Engineer. Commencing his journey as an Engineer, David swiftly moved into the real world of structural engineering design. Utilising his knowledge of producing drawings and sketches, he progressed rapidly as a proficient and conscientious engineer with a keen eye for detail and a good understanding of buildability.
David soon started to manage projects within the structural team, regularly attending client meetings and design team meetings being the sole Fairhurst representative. This required him to broaden his engineering knowledge rapidly, to not only understand structural engineering, but to understand all of the other Fairhurst disciplines in detail. Attendance at these regular meetings also provided David with experience of the wider disciplines of the Design Team and the roles of the client / contractor, therefore, providing him with a holistic knowledge of how projects are executed.
In 1996 David was promoted to Senior Engineer and in 1998 (aged 29) was handed the opportunity to take on the full-time role of Resident Structural Engineer (representing Fairhurst) on a major new £160M government development at DSS Longbenton, Newcastle. This was one of the highlights of David’s career, providing him with 18 consecutive months of invaluable site experience and was integral in putting him on the right path towards his goal of becoming a Chartered Structural Engineer.
In 2001, David sat his Chartered ‘Part 3’ Exam with the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) and passed at the first attempt. He then continued to rise through the ranks within the firm and in 2005 was promoted to the position of Technical Director and continued in that role for a period of 16 years before becoming a Partner of the Newcastle office in January 2022.