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Stuart Guthrie joins Sweco to lay extensive pavement expertise onto wider infrastructure offering

We’re pleased to welcome Stuart Guthrie to Sweco, as he steps into a key role as Technical Director for our Pavement Engineering consultancy, design and construction offering. We caught up with Stuart to find out a little more about where he’s been, as well as where he wants to go.

Welcome to Sweco Stuart – let’s start with how you got here?

By trade, I’m a Chartered Engineer and a Highways England Certified Pavement Engineer. I’ve picked up extensive technical insight and experience across materials, processes and compliance over more than 30 years in road pavement investigation, design and construction, which I hope will add lots of value to what is already an incredibly knowledgeable team at Sweco

What attracted me the most is an opportunity to develop pavement engineering within Sweco. I’m excited about the opportunities to diversify the projects and I really enjoy helping develop the guys in the team. The structure and size of Sweco provides both a closer relationship with the clients as well as being more agile to meet customer needs.

Can you tell us a bit about your role, Stuart?

A big part of my job is to drive the technical side of pavement engineering forward at Sweco, but I’m also here to help raise the profile of the amazing team we have in place. There’s so much passion and expertise here that rivals the best I’ve seen across the industry, so I’m keen to make sure more of the local authorities, agencies and other network stakeholders who need our services, know about our services

What’s front and centre in the world of pavement engineering at the moment?

Carbon reduction, and ultimately carbon neutrality, are key challenges right now in all areas of civil engineering. But in the pavement sphere, they represent exciting opportunities.
We know that local authorities are torn when it comes to infrastructure improvements. Traditionally, there’s always been a battle between ‘budget or better’ whereby clients often have to choose between a cost-effective solution and an eco-friendly one. We’re here to help them see that a balance between the two is entirely possible with the right knowhow, guidance and mindset.

How would you sum up your approach, or your engineering ethos?

For me it’s more about changing things for the better road by road, project by project. My focus is on changing minds before changing landscapes, because the former is what unlocks the latter.

Thinking about how hazardous waste could be transformed into usable material is every bit as important as the emphasis we put on developing new materials. Thinking about how long a surface might last, or how its use might change over the years is every bit as important as looking for the most affordable option.

It’s all about balance, and having a single trusted partner to advise on the strategic and forward planning aspects of pavement design, as well as taking care of the ‘map and measure’ operational details of installing a surface is absolutely key to success.

It sounds like an exciting time to be in a role like yours?

Indeed it is! I’ve been a big advocate for circular thinking for a long time, and now it seems to be entering the consciousness of our clients as they seek new and more climate-friendly solutions. As they become more receptive – and responsive – to a more rounded approach when it comes to surface innovations, recycling solutions and general process evolution, consultant engineers like us will be able to make a bigger difference to the world around us.

Contact Stuart about:

  • Pavement investigations of road infrastructure, ports, airports and transport hubs.
  • Pavement design from asphalt, concrete, natural stone setts and concrete pavers/slabs
  • Providing alternative materials and designs based on innovation and best practice to minimise construction times and traffic disruption
  • Carbon reduction by designing pavements that promote recycling of end-of-life materials to their maximum utility
  • Skid resistance policy and procedure

 

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