Get to know the team: Nazar Ziwar

We spoke to Nazar Ziwar, rhi's Senior Consultant / Quantity Surveyor (QS) based in the UK, who celebrates an incredibly impressive milestone in July - 25 years of service with rhi. Nazar reflects on the past 25 years, the most exciting projects he has worked on during his time and key learnings from his experience.

Can you tell us more about your career with rhi?

After attending school in London, I went on to study architecture in Aberdeen at the Robert Gordon University of Technology. Architecture and Quantity Surveying (QS) were taught in the same building, and I used to spend a lot of time with the other students studying to be a QS. Once I finished my degree in architecture, I moved back to London and started working in the Department of Education and Science / Architects & Building Branch for a couple of years.

When the recession hit around 1989, I was employed in a private architecture firm working on small to medium projects. The building industry was slowing down, and I was suddenly out of work. This set me on a course that would change my career.

David Lane, one of the owners of rhi, contacted me to offer me some work for 3-4 months as he had heard that I was out of work. We kept in close contact after university, where we studied together and shared a college flat during that time. While I was studying architecture, I taught myself how to use computers, I also increased my knowledge of computers when I was working in the Department of Education and Science, allocating some of my time to use their advanced for its time computers, they were hardly used and not popular for some reason, and I used to have to blow the dust off them – how times have changed!

The job David offered me was to work on rhiCOMS, rhi’s unit rate contracting software and given my experience and interest in computers, this was a perfect career opportunity. The four-month contract turned into two years on that project. I also liaised with the people who programmed rhiCOMS and worked on improving the glitches and bugs and even wrote the first rhiCOMS user manual.

During my tenure at rhi, I worked on projects and assisted with developing rhiCOMS again with the windows version (user interface). I was the bridge between systems and operations as I was able to understand both sides of the spectrum. I continued to work on rhiCOMS, tender evaluations and pre-tender appraisals, SAM (Semi Automated Measurement) and more recently contracts coordination and contracts engineering work.

What is the most exciting project you have worked on during your time?

I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed all the projects I have worked on. They were extremely varied and have allowed me to work with many clients and visit countless countries.

What has kept you here for 25 years and what excites you most about rhi's future? 

Having the opportunity to work on a vast array of projects, doing different roles has kept me here for so long and I do not believe there has ever been a dull moment.

Clients always come back – we deliver. We meet their requirements and a lot of time we exceed those requirements. This brings exciting and new challenges. But most importantly the people have been wonderful, that is what kept me here for 25 years. They challenge you and support you and rhi truly looks after their people.

I'm excited by rhi moving into new areas – not staying in the vase and diversifying. Just like with your own personal growth it is important for businesses to get outside of their comfort zone. Clean energy is exciting. The sooner we move, the sooner we gain experience and develop our people and their skills.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

I try to be active and get outside most days for a walk. I have found it makes a very big difference to get outside in my lunch break.

I love cooking and I like to experiment with healthy version of everyone’s favorite and I leave the verdict to my most demanding food critics – my two daughters!

Two daughters take up a lot of my time - asking questions about life and challenging me with the answers at the same time.

Are there any key learnings from your experience you would like to share / advice?

Get engaged – get involved with the systems, the contracts, learn new things. If a task is given to you that is outside your realm – take it, take the challenge – it keeps things exciting and fun. Do not be afraid to ask questions, I would rather ask for support than stay quiet and get things wrong. You will benefit from putting yourself outside of your comfort zone.