David Oloke, an editor oRefurbishment Projects: Health and safety management, on why he chose to work in civil engineering, the biggest challenges in refurbishment projects and more! 

A cup of tea with David Oloke
David Oloke pictured holding Refurbishment Projects: Health and safety management
  • Updated: 03 August 2020
  • Author: Author: David Oloke, SoABE Degree Apprenticeship Manager at the University of Wolverhampton, UK 

What inspired you to work in civil engineering?  
As a child, I appreciated engineering immensely. At that time, however, most children my age knew engineering as either an electrical or a mechanical discipline. Interestingly though one day I met a civil engineer who was introduced to me simply as an engineer. I picked his brain a little and he explained to me what he did. I became so fascinated about it all and that was it... There was no going back for me!       
 
What does writing a book entail? 
You must be deeply passionate about the subject, to the point where you wish to express it in the simplest way possible to your target audience. You must also be self-motivated! 
 
What is the best part of editing a book? 
The entire process is a journey of mixed emotions really. However, I think the moment the copy editors ‘sign off’ the book for handover to production is certainly a high point.  

And the worst…? What was the biggest challenge you faced?  
Coordinating other authors can be a challenge at times. For a book to have high quality contributions, it is important that contributing authors are carefully selected to reflect their expertise. However, this also means that most of the time they are remarkably busy people that might need to share their time on their chapters with several other competing professional demands.     
 
What will the reader learn from Refurbishment Projects: Health and Safety Management
Refurbishment projects have challenges that characterise them making them unique in many ways. The majority of professionals involved in new build projects usually lack awareness of these issues. This book assists readers seeking to familiarise themselves with these unique challenges and helps students understand the intricacies of safely delivering refurbishment projects. It promises to be an easy-to-read reference for a wide range of built environment professionals involved in or who are planning to be involved in these types of projects. 
 
How do you take your tea? 
White – lightly sweetened. 

If you could invite any engineer (alive or dead) to dinner, who would it be? 
I admire quite a few highly accomplished engineers whose achievements continue to inspire me in many ways. However, if given one chance only, I would like that to be Sir John Armitt who has been consistently contributing to civil engineering education and development for the last few decades. I was particularly impressed with his oversight of London 2012 Olympic infrastructure delivery. The project still ranks as one of the best — delivered on time with a perfect safety record in recent history.  
 

Find out more about Refurbishment Projects — your ultimate guide to health and safety and risk management throughout alteration, renovation and refurbishment projects, available in print and as an eBook.  
 
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If you would like to read more about the London 2012 Olympics, read our Civil Engineering journal themed issues