Get to know the team: Alex Mackenzie
We spoke to Alex Mackenzie, rhi’s Senior Consultant for the United States of America, to learn about his professional development with the company, the opportunities for our business and his advice for anyone looking to further their career.
Can you tell us more about your career with rhi?
My association with rhi started in 2013, when I was given the opportunity to work overseas in the USA. Straight away, I found myself working on a major capital project for a client and I was able to provide quantity surveying expertise supporting a topsides upgrade. Having demonstrated my commitment and ability to the client, I was seconded to another project where I provided estimating support for the development of a semi-submersible floating production platform.
Following a variety of consultancy roles in the infrastructure industry, in 2018, as a Senior Consultant, I was responsible for providing quantum support for a multinational company on several of their energy, process and industrial projects. This gave me the opportunity to work closely with key stakeholders, mainly experts and lawyers to aid their understanding of the cost and quantity growth on the projects. As a result, I was able to analyze documents at an expert level, assess any grounds for negligence, confirm costs and report any damages.
My current role is as a Lead Quantity Surveyor based in Houston, Texas, where I am providing post-contract commercial support during the design and construction of two major oil & gas projects based in South Korea and the United States of America.
What excites you most about the future of rhi?
Our plans are to build stronger relationships with new and existing clients, whilst also expanding our services within various sectors. Our collaborative team approach has created an environment where all of team rhi can draw from their expertise to provide new innovations and solutions for our clients, in order to assist them in solving their most complex challenges. Even in these uncertain times, we have managed to adapt to change by maintaining high standards in assisting our clients and simultaneously delivering project excellence.
Are there any key learnings from your experience you would like to share?
On a personal level, the current restrictions due to COVID-19 has demonstrated to me that people can work efficiently remotely and that the standard of work produced can continue to be high. Having said that I do miss the social interaction and networking with people in the office.
During my career, I have noticed the lack of quantity surveyors at project start up, likely due to budget allowances. This generally results in financial difficulty due to the absence of contemporary records, lost opportunities, under recovered changes and correspondence not in line with the main contract. In the UK, we have a saying that a good quantity surveyor pays for himself. When rhi are engaged at start up, we are able to produce cost estimates supported by market- leading systems enabling us to provide strategic advice and effective cost control performance.
Any advice you have for someone who is looking to further their career?
My advice for anyone looking to further their career is to work hard, venture out of your comfort zone and continue your professional development. Anyone pursuing a career in quantity surveying should look to obtain formal training and become qualified as a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) in order to develop your technical and professional knowledge within the workplace. The Americas needs more qualified quantity surveyors and rhi provides a great opportunity to further your career.