We spoke with Damian Meehan, Technical Director in WSP's planning team, to find out more about his role as a WSP Changemaker in the fast-paced world of logistics
08 December 2020
My team partners with developers who build the giant distribution centres you see across the UK. Advising on topics such as highways, energy strategy and carbon strategy, we have to be responsive and proactive to succeed as a consultant in the fast-paced world of logistics.
This competitive sector always has one eye on the future, and the institutional investors that fund developments want to reduce their long-term risk. We help ensure distribution centres are ready for future innovations such as autonomous vehicles and show developers how they can cut carbon and achieve their objectives. Ultimately, through our advice, we can help the sector move towards net zero.
It’s important that we challenge received thinking. An hour spent re-examining a plan can inspire changes that reap huge rewards for a client
Technical Director, WSP UK
We couldn’t do this without a collaborative attitude. For example, I’m particularly proud of how, for a major distribution park, we worked with Highways England, the local authority and others to amicably overcome congestion issues that our client had feared were insurmountable.
It’s also important that we challenge received thinking. An hour spent re-examining a plan can inspire changes that reap huge rewards for a client. We did this for a developer, completely redesigning the scheme to rationalise the infrastructure. A spark of inspiration from our team created a layout that improved safety in and around the site, used less land and consumed fewer resources.
While technical knowledge is an important part of being a changemaker, inter-personal communication is vital too. Dr Joe Nason, a lecturer on my MBA course, opened my eyes to the importance of adapting my approach for different people. I learnt that if you want to persuade someone to take your advice, you don’t just have to say the right things, you have to say them in the right way for that person.
Our WSP Changemakers have been spending their WSP Hour upgrading local distribution centres to ensure that growing demand is met so those deliveries can continue to arrive at your door.