RVA spotlight – meet Jonathan Tann

Name and role: Jonathan Tann – project manager

How long have you been with RVA Group?

Almost seven years.

Describe your career journey before that:

After graduating, I spent around five years as a mechanical engineer within the underground mining industry, managing major projects and preventative maintenance. I followed a very steep learning curve, given the vast array of equipment and intricate systems. I was involved in everything from complex hydraulic issues underground to construction and demolition projects on the surface. 

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

Inspired by the local Sunderland Airshow, I dreamt of being a fighter pilot or flying the red arrows. Having spent a number of years in the army cadets, I had also considered a career in the forces. With maths and physics being my strong points, and having a keen interest in how things worked, I was destined for a career in engineering. 

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

If I was to put one above all I would probably choose the ability to forward think and foresee potential problems. However, people skills are equally important. 

What’s your biggest RVA achievement to date?

Supporting our client Engie in achieving the safe planning, decommissioning and demolition of Rugeley Power Station, which took a little over five years in total — from decommissioning through to completion — without a major incident.   

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

Support and help others where you can, avoiding blame culture.

Describe your dream project:

One with a range of new technical challenges. 

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?

By remaining experts in the decommissioning/demolition field without diversification, focusing on improvement within this sector, and maintaining high standards.

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

I would have to say both the chemical process and power generation sectors. They are both equally challenging in terms of the decommissioning and plant preparation scope and complex arrangement of the heavy structures involved. 

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

Seek advice as soon as demolition is confirmed and organise a strong team to support the delivery of the project — including retaining site knowledge within the relevant disciplines. 

What makes you tick outside of work?

Spending time with the family, keeping active, and training towards my private pilot’s licence. When time permits, I love a good DIY project too.  

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

I like to travel as much as possible, but one continent I haven’t visited is Asia. So somewhere like Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, or Malaysia.

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