QSi General Council Members

Roger Knowles

My career started when I left school and took up a position of Junior Quantity Surveyor in private practise. In my first few years I learned how buildings are constructed and the basic principles of measurement. The skill of preparing bills of quantities, final accounts and cost plans was to follow and with it the ability to financially manages the whole construction process. I then moved into managing an office for my employer and finally started a business of my own which provided QS and dispute resolution services. Throughout my career I have benefited greatly from being able to use the skills which I learned as a Quantity Surveyor.

Andrew Williams, Principal of Andrew R Williams and Associates, Consulting Quantity Surveyors: Building Consultants

My Grandfather was a Director of a small building company and my father was a QS. After being taken around a large number of building sites during my formative years, health and safety rules less onerous in those days, staring at partially completed buildings and absorbing phrases like exceptionally inclement weather, extensions of time, contractual claims and the like, my life was destined to go one of two ways. I either went into the building industry or rejected it completely, luckily, building was in my blood.

After a four year full time course in Quantity Surveying and a further two years of part time study, I went to work for well established Liverpool based QS practice. At one stage in my career, I also worked in the QS department of a local brewery where I was responsible for preparing Bills of Quantities and Specifications for a large number of new build and remedial works for a brewery's public house stock in the Northwest.

Since setting up in Private Practice, I have been actively involved in pre-and post contract QS work for both private clients and contracting organisations.

I have been involved is schemes ranging from a major restoration works on a large church, alterations to bank buildings, new build housing schemes, self build housing schemes, new factory units, office block developments, dockland redevelopments, barn conversions and remedial works on fire damaged buildings. In addition, I have attended court as an expert witness and have published a number of building related books.

Although I now have a small team working for me, I still spend a good proportion of my week making site visits. One of the things that I like about my chosen profession is that building projects are extremely varied and as they say, variety is the spice of life.

Steve Newcombe, Associate, Mott MacDonald

I have been in the construction industry since 1982 and have experience in a wide range of roles. The majority of my experience has been in the role of Employer’s Agent or Quantity Surveyor in both pre and post contract processes. I also have experience in Risk Management, Project Management and as a partnering advisor.

I currently act as Health Sector Lead for Mott MacDonald’s project and cost management unit.

Due to my vast experience and expertise, I was appointed head of Mott MacDonald’s centre of excellence for Employer’s Agent/Representative Services.

Scott Thomas - Senior Quantity Surveyor, Birse Rail

I started my commercial career with Costain Major Projects back in 1990, where I initially undertook Civil Engineering studies before eventually doing my Q.S. Diploma at the College of Estate Management, Reading University.

My career has primarily been on major highway civil schemes e.g. M4 x 2, M5, M27 / M275 but also a submarine re-arming jetty at RNAD Coulport for the Vanguard nuclear submarines. I did however have a four year sabbatical working for Thyssen and Morrison Construction, before moving back to work within the Costain Welsh region where I’ve looked after the commercial aspect of an upgrade to an existing water treatment works in partnership with Purac and two road schemes for Carmarthenshire County Council ( Can you spot the trend yet ??).

Then I decided time for a change again and I have been working for Birse Rail since Aug. 2007 on various enhancement and new build schemes.

Enough about work, well Scott the person, I’m currently living in Swansea and for my sins I choose to relax by playing at war games ( I’m a Corporal in the Royal Engineers ). This must make me a member of select club, as there can’t be many Q.S.s out there with a Class 1 LGV licence and also a ADR / Hazmat qualification ( this enables me to drive hazardous loads ), my other hobbies, when I get any time are watching rugby and general socializing.

Peter Robertson, Director of PKR Commercial Services Ltd

When I started my career in construction, I was sponsored by the company I worked for and studied part-time for my professional qualifications. I have worked as a Quantity Surveyor in the Construction Industry for over 30 years, and have experience in major building, civil engineering, and tunnelling projects, including constructing two tunnels under the Thames for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. I have seen many changes in the profession – not always for the good – but still believe that this is the best industry to work in as every new project is a new challenge!

I formed my own company in 2010 and when I left the Murphy Group of Companies in 2011, my company was employed by them in the Crossrail Project C310 (tunnelling under the Thames) working for Hochtief-Murphy JV. My company is currently working for a leading contractor on the Thames Water AMP5 project in Hampton.