#GradLife - Hassan Fakih

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Hassan Fakih is a Graduate Engineer currently working his way through the Graduate Rotation Program based in our Sydney, Australia office. He's shared what Another Day at Cardno looks like for him.

Early morning sky with building shadows

6.15 AM

I like to wake up early so I can get a head start on my day and enjoy the silence and lights of the morning. I usually don’t have breakfast so my morning routine is fairly short.

6.55 AM

I walk to my local train station so I can get some sunshine on the way, I prefer taking the train in to work so I can use my commute time to read a book, watch a movie on my phone, or get some work done.

Train at train station

8.00 AM

We have flexibility in what time we start our days but I prefer to get in early as I find I'm more productive in the morning.

Some days I like to head down to get a coffee from the food court next to the office for a chance to catch up with co-workers. There is a box of fruit in the office most mornings so I'll grab something to take along.

Cardno employee Hassan Fakih having a coffee with colleague

Coffee and banana on Cardno employee's desk

8.15 AM

I like to start my day off in a relaxed way by checking any emails I missed the day before, and seeing if there are any project tasks still pending. As I do this I will be jotting down some notes and planning out how I will be spending my day. I find its important to stay organised when working on multiple projects so I can prioritise and manage time effectively.


Two computer screens with modelling data showing

8.30 AM

The first thing for the day is a quick task to finish off some work from yesterday. I am using GIS software to map different environmental factors so they can be included in a flood risk management report we are preparing. This involves working with the environmental team to get the relevant data and make sure it is presented in an intuitive way. After this I also set up a GIS map to show the design flood extent for transport project I had been helping with.

I am currently in the water team as part of the Graduate Rotation program, and GIS mapping forms a significant part of a graduate water engineer's role as it gives you exposure to flood modelling results so you can start to build understanding before being involved in the modelling yourself.


11.00 AM

The next thing is to follow up from a discussion I had the day before with a project manager regarding a transport project that was currently under construction. As I had previous experience with transport projects in another role as part of the rotation program, I have tried to build on that further with the water team to gain a different perspective. For this project, the contractor had proposed to change the design and alignment of one of the drainage pits so I made a test alignment in AutoCAD to see if the proposal works, and provided a markup of the changes so our design and drawings can be updated by the designer and drafter. 

1.00 PM

When the weather is nice, I enjoy having lunch on the balcony so I can soak in the sun and enjoy the view of the city. This is also a good chance to catch up with people from other parts of the business.

View of Sydney city from Cardno Sydney office

2.00 PM

The rest of my day was spent on stormwater drainage design for a road upgrade project – which forms a significant part of my role with the water team. This usually involves various methods of assessing flow and designing different solutions such as pit and pipe systems, trench drains, and open channels. For the particular project I worked on today I used an excel sheet the team had set up for Mannings Equation and Rational method calculations. 

Two computer screens with storm water management modelling system on screen

Using this I was able to find the design flow at points in the design we were concerned about, then determined if mitigation would be needed. I found that there was excessive flow so I spent time briefing the lead stormwater engineer for the project and we ran through some potential options together.


5.00 PM

To finish my day up, I will write some notes to record my progress for the day and highlight any unfinished items so I can pick up where I left the next day. I go to a gym near the office straight after work to decompress, then I take the train back home and enjoy the sunset over the harbour as I cross the bridge.

Sunset over Sydney Harbour from Sydney Harbour Bridge

We have a unique Grad Rotation Program in our Asia Pacific region. Want to know more?