Recently promoted to Associate, Melvin Baeha is a Chartered Professional Engineer with over 15 years experience in a wide variety of sectors such as residential, commercial, industrial, educational, infrastructure, heavy industrial and mining.
Bringing his collaborative, proactive and positive attitude to project partners, Melvin works tirelessly to ensure projects are delivered in high quality, on time and on budget. He is highly dedicated to the success of his projects and often extends himself beyond expectation to facilitate the best outcomes for the project, its stakeholders and the community.
Melvin’s interests include structural analysis, lateral analysis, structural optimisation and composite structures, and he enjoys seeking innovative solutions to the individual challenges each project and site can bring.
As the Structural Site Manager, what does your role involve at XK?
A combination of inspector, advisor, problem solver and re-designer.
I manage and supervise site activities related to structural aspects. My main role is to ensure that everything executed on-site, from a structural perspective, is of a high standard and in compliance with the approved design. This involves frequent site inspections, especially in the early stage of construction, from excavation to the roof slab casting, etc.
I understand the challenges and difficulties encountered by builders on-site, therefore being proactive is a crucial part of my role. It involves assisting the construction team to address issues in real-time; saving cost and avoiding delay, while achieving high quality, on-time and problem-free construction.
I am very passionate about my role and thrive on challenging myself, my team and the XK design team to provide high quality and quick turn-around site advice. Most importantly though, we push ourselves to provide practical solutions that can be applied within the constraints of the site- without sacrificing the overall standard of the design.
Best thing about being a site engineer?
Being able to solve problems on-site day in day out. Every day is a new challenge, which makes it exciting and rewarding.
Being a site engineer means you have the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with the construction team, whose primary role is to bring the design team’s ideas to life. Seeing firsthand how the building evolves is truly exciting. It is also satisfying to see the final product knowing its challenges at the time of construction and how I contributed to delivering the project successfully. Knowing that our community can safely enjoy a sound and safe building makes our work very rewarding.
I am an expert in…..?
Having broad experiences as a structural design engineer across various sectors, allows me to offer added value to our clients. I have a deep knowledge of any type of structure and a full understanding of the design approach required for each project. I provide sound advice to builders to solve complex problems encountered on site.
What is the best advice you often give to your clients?
I always start a project with the same message: there will be times when I will have to make difficult decisions. However, I always explain that these decisions will be made in their best interest to ensure that the project is safe, compliant and of high quality.
I also add that the cost of fixing non-conformances early on and before pouring concrete will be significantly less than the cost of repairing it later. The builders and I are a team and we must do our best to make it right the first time to avoid any issues in the future.
Your role has evolved over the last 12months, especially since the new legislation for Class 2 buildings. What challenges have you encountered and how did you overcome them?
I am not sure if I see this as a challenge. While our clients are going through the requirements of the new legislation, as with any greater regulation, it needs time and understanding to adapt and become familiar with these changes. My passion and commitment to lifting the standard of engineering allows me to naturally spend time with my clients to ensure they understand the requirements and the importance of this Act. Communication is key and through ongoing support and education, project partners are embracing the new legislation. They see the value it has for their projects, stakeholders and ultimately the community.
I am very excited to see how this Act positively changes our industry. Through this period of transformation, XK has become an industry leader in helping rebuild public confidence by ensuring the trustworthiness of buildings in our communities.