Open and close mobile menu


Insights Say yes to opportunity as a Graduate Mechanical Engineer.

Meet Thomas Lai, an Assistant Mechanical Engineer in Atkins, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group. As part of the Water Team in Hong Kong, his job is to help deliver engineering design for water & wastewater treatment works in the region. He also supports with contractors, bidding, coordinating inputs from various teams in Atkins, to prepare technical submissions. His role involves various technical assessments, as well as coordination between clients, contractors, and different design teams.image of Thomas with a camera

How did you get to where you are today?

My first job, from 2016 to 2019, was as a graduate in the UK with Atkins' water team. It was a great opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge and become a well-rounded engineer. The team and my colleagues supported me to explore a wide range of projects and roles. After three years into my first job, I decided it was time for a change and new challenges. I moved back to Hong Kong and took up my current role in the Water & Environmental Team as an assistant engineer. This move would have been so much more difficult if it wasn't for Atkins' mobility across its global business network.

What challenges did you overcome, how did Atkins support you?

At the beginning of my career in the UK, I was grateful for Atkins' supportive and inclusive environment. There wasn't a single moment when I felt any difference between being a foreigner and a local colleague in the UK. The cohesion in the team is strong, and this encouraged me to actively engage with colleagues and voice out my thoughts.

Back in Hong Kong, being fresh to the engineering ecosystem here, I was in good hands guiding me through the complicated projects and procedures. The diversity of projects here expands my horizon and enriches me with knowledge beyond the realm of mechanical engineering. The workload sometimes is challenging with tight deadlines. Still, all of these are lifted by team spirit, not to mention selfless colleagues who always go the extra mile to accomplish tasks to the highest quality.

Describe your career heroes at Atkins

Owen, the Biogas Technical Champion in the UK and Europe Sector, was also the lead Design Engineer of the biogas project I worked on from scratch to construction in the UK. Owen has been a great leader showing a wealth of technical knowledge and at the same time, taking good care of his team. Our client has built great trust in him, which makes Atkins very competitive when it comes to biogas jobs and maintaining excellent client relationships. He always gave constructive feedback on my work, patiently going over any mistakes I may have made, and showing me ways to improve. Besides, I admire how he managed to maintain a healthy work-life balance while fully delivering on his work and keeping himself in great shape, physically and mentally.

What will you do with your opportunities at Atkins? Check out our Graduate Development Programme.