RVA spotlight – meet Ellis Hutchinson

Ellis Hutchinson, RVA Group

Name and role: Ellis Hutchinson, senior project manager

How long have you been with RVA Group?

Almost 10 years.

Describe your career journey before that?

After graduating in 2001 with a degree in civil engineering, I spent 12 years working in the steeplejack industry. This involved inspecting, maintaining, and demolishing elevated structures for clients predominantly in the power generation and chemical manufacturing sectors.

What did you want to be, when you were younger?

A professional golfer.

And what do you think is the key skill you need to be a successful senior project manager?

The ability to prioritise your time, while also making sure that everything you do is clearly thought about and executed to the highest of standards, with a view to leading by example and ultimately gaining the respect of your colleagues.

What’s your biggest RVA achievement to date?

Being promoted to the position of RVA senior project manager in 2017.

And the most memorable thing you’ve learnt during your career?

Do not fall into the trap of thinking you know everything. Know your limitations and when you’re unsure or think something is out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to seek advice or the thoughts of others. There is no such thing as a silly question in my opinion.

Describe your dream project

Any project that is completed on time, on budget, safely, and has been a success for all involved. I think I have already ‘lived the dream’ on a couple of occasions in my time with RVA.

RVA Group is celebrating 30 years in business, with a truly global reputation for decommissioning excellence. Why do you think the company has earned such a stand-out position in industry?

Because we demonstrate attention to detail, with a focus on client satisfaction, while maintaining the very highest of safety standards. We can achieve this thanks to our vast amount of experience and knowledge of the industry, which is only gained over time.

Of all the sectors RVA operates in, which is the most exciting right now?

The decommissioning and demolition of assets outside of the UK and the challenge of understanding and implementing international construction management, asbestos removal and demolition legislation and standards.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give to an organisation preparing for a decommissioning project?

Start preparing for decommissioning well in advance of asset closure, when those with the in-depth knowledge of the equipment, plant processes and any problem areas, are still there to consult with. 

What makes you tick outside of work?

In my free time I love to carry out home improvement projects – one of the notable ones to date is the recent construction of my garden office from which I work without the distraction of barking dogs! When I’m not doing DIY, my current pastimes are fishing from my boat, playing golf, and barbequing.

If you could be given a plane ticket for anywhere, where would you choose?

New Zealand.

Which one word would you hope colleagues would use to describe you?