Thomas Mönch
Head of Site Supervision at PERI SE

Behind the scenes: How our engineers are driving the construction industry forward

Even as a child, Thomas Mönch was magically drawn to construction sites. The imposing excavators and mighty cranes fascinated him and not only sparked his love for construction projects, but also awakened his interest in the engineering profession. Today, after more than 31 years at PERI, he opens the door to his multifaceted professional life and gives us an insight into his world as an engineer.

The day of our Senior Project Engineer and formwork expert begins in a place characterised by creativity and a spirit of innovation: our Technical Office at our headquarters in Weissenhorn, Germany. This is where Thomas and his colleagues plan formwork for impressive and complex infrastructure projects.

Planning for the future – formwork for the world

A particular milestone in his career is undoubtedly the planning of the Mersey Gateway Bridge in 2015. The gigantic structure connects the towns of Runcorn and Widnes near Liverpool and stretches over 2,250 metres. The imposing bridge is supported by three massive pylons. “Our challenge was to develop innovative formwork solutions that would not only allow us to work without the need for cranes or the weather, but also include a special design to shorten climbing times and speed up concrete work”, says Thomas.

One Day as an Engineer
One Day as an Engineer

However, working as an engineer usually requires more than just technical expertise and an understanding of figures and 3D models. Thomas highlights the importance of his role like this: “I coordinate schedules and ensure that all tasks are optimally distributed.” In addition to his organisational skills, he attaches great importance to precision and takes care of detailed parts lists to ensure that the right materials arrive at the construction sites in precisely coordinated quantities.

Strong together: teamwork is the key to triumph

Projects are only as good as the people behind them. But that takes real teamwork. This is particularly evident in international projects, in which communication and cooperation across departmental and national borders work hand in hand. “There is also a special collaboration with our development department”, explains Thomas. “Here we discuss further developments together or make suggestions for new products.” Our engineer also stays in close contact with the project statics experts in the Technical Office. “For example, they checked the structural design of the Mersey Gateway Bridge. Without them, the construction would not have been possible”, he says.

One Day as an Engineer

With our clients to the ideal solution

During our conversation with Thomas, we came across two pictures on his desk that show him on different construction sites. “In 1995, I moved to Brazil for five years and managed the formwork team there as Technical Manager”, he says, pointing to the first picture. “This involved travelling to construction sites and seeing the conditions for myself. Just as there was a supervisor on site for the Mersey Gateway Bridge project, who gave us feedback on the current status.”

One Day as an Engineer
One Day as an Engineer

The second picture was taken in France. “At the beginning of the 2000s, we were part of the construction of the Viaduc de Millau, a bridge in the south of the country that crosses the impressive Tarn canyon. I was the interface between PERI France, the construction site and our office in Weissenhorn”, says Thomas about this memorable station. Memorable because he was able to deepen his knowledge abroad and now understands our clients and their needs even better thanks to his international experience.

In both countries, Brazil and France, Thomas was on the spot and liaised directly with our clients to develop solutions together. Through intensive communication with the relevant people and departments – including planners, logistics and colleagues in Weissenhorn – he became increasingly aware of which adjustments were needed to become even more efficient.

“With every experience, my love of watching construction sites grow has increased. When the buildings are finished, you can identify with them. It's a great feeling”, says Thomas. That's why every project is special to him – from the Mersey Gateway Bridge to the Viaduc de Millau to the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro. It's this international and long-standing experience in particular that makes him what he is today: an absolute expert who immediately understands complex projects and challenges and develops the best solutions for our clients.

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