In this #PeopleFirst series we catch up with Declan Gavin, Group Electrical Estimating Manager for our Low Voltage (LV) and Power (T&D) business units. Heading up a large team, he has been with Kirby for more than 15 years and has seen the business grow and develop into the company it is today.
“Kirby has always stayed consistent through its growth; our core values remain – People, Safety, Quality, Delivery, and Value – and provide our guiding principles, and that is something that we all can be very proud of,” says Declan.
“We are a unique business, people generally stay with us for a long time, and in our team, we have some of the most experienced industry professionals, who work alongside new team members from across the globe. Together we deliver some of the most exciting and innovative projects I have ever worked on,” he adds.
Declan’s career journey started with Balfour Beatty Services in London. As a Quantity Surveyor, he worked on landmark schemes including, the new British Library, Great Ormond Street Hospital and various Ministry of Defence projects, to name just a few. He returned to his native Ireland after seven years in the UK, and now manages our LV Electrical and Power (T&D) estimating department.
Our Power (T&D) sector includes energy and renewable infrastructure: wind farms, battery energy storage solutions, and substation infrastructures. Our LV Electrical sector includes hyper-scale data centres, life science, and commercial projects across Europe and the UK.
“We have a heritage in these sectors, something that is incredibly attractive to our clients. It ensures that we can provide enhanced support during the estimation and preconstruction period, as we build on old capabilities to deliver new and innovative schemes, using lessons learned and our vast experience from the past. We work with our clients over decades, with continuous improvement, performance monitoring and, operation and maintenance support built into our partnering approach.”
Declan’s team is at the start of any project’s journey, working with our clients to finalise the design of these cutting-edge projects, ensuring we have all the pieces of the puzzle before our operations and engineering team bring the plans into life.
“We are at the leading edge in transmission and distribution. The projects we are developing with our clients will ensure a more sustainable future for our planet, with generation, distribution and storage solutions created alongside our design and engineering teams in the preconstruction stage.
“Our company ethos ensures that we consider the long-term benefits of our projects, encompassing embodied carbon and the specification of sustainable products in preconstruction,” he adds.
Declan has welcomed people from across the globe to support Kirby and its clients deliver these innovative schemes, as Kirby grows sustainably to support its long-term clients.
“We have welcomed teammates from across the world, as well as recruiting from within Ireland. It’s important to me, and to Kirby, that we work hard to support new members of the team, and that’s not just with onboarding and training. Supporting our team in logistics, with accommodation and schools, is just as important. We will always make sure people feel supported and welcome when they join us. That is part of the Kirby culture, we have a sense for people and want to make them feel at home with Kirby,” he adds.
Since COVID-19 and with new additions to the team, Declan highlights that, “communication has never been so important”.
“We have colleagues based across Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, and Portugal. Collaborative working forms the backbone of what we do as a function. Technology and its adoption is critical to this, as is trust and communication. Our approach in this has been transformative, we work on tenders jointly and collectively, harnessing the power that technology affords us.
“It’s an exciting time to be at Kirby, and we have a lot to offer, not just to new starters, but also the people who have made Kirby what it is today. We have the team and the technology to support the solution of some of the most pressing issues of our time. With our inherent knowledge and fresh talent joining us, I can see the projects we deliver transforming our landscapes,” Declan concludes.
To find out more, check out Kirby’s T&D projects here.