The July 2019 edition of the RACA Journal featured Richard Gibson, Parsons & Lumsden's mechanical engineer. The personality profile, written by Mari Macnamara, follows.
Richard Gibson: Passionate About Engineering
“I want to continue to learn and develop as much as possible. It’s important to avoid stagnating and to continuously challenge myself.”
Richard Gibson is currently the senior mechanical technologist at Parsons and Lumsden Consulting Engineers in KwaZulu-Natal. He is responsible for a number of projects, entailing everything from concept to completion. Gibson’s main focus is on mechanical building services which includes mostly HVAC, wet services, medical gas, refrigeration, and certain fire protection systems.
“I have always been mechanically minded and interested in how and what makes things work,” explains Gibson. After school he obtained a National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering through the Durban University of Technology.
Thereafter, he started working for a multi-disciplinary engineering firm in Newcastle, where he gained a great deal of experience in many diverse projects. While in Newcastle, he completed a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering. He is also registered as a Professional Engineering Technologist with the Engineering Council of SA (ECSA).
Gibson relocated to Durban in 2011, where he continued to work for large consulting engineering companies and was involved in many interesting and challenging projects. He joined the Parsons and Lumsden team in 2015 and has been actively involved in the business ever since.
For the love of the job
“Mechanical engineering is a challenging yet exciting industry to be in, as no two projects are the same,” Gibson explains. “This allows you to use your experience and creativity.”
He believes there is always room for growth and knowledge. “Learning from others is important, but from my experience, you learn the most when you are thrown into the deep end and you have to personally figure it out.”
“I thoroughly enjoy what I do,” he says. “I appreciate the diversity that my day-to-day work brings.” According to him, the most satisfying part of this profession is completing a project and seeing all the individual components and equipment operating as they were designed to do. “It’s also rewarding discovering alternative, more effective designs to improve systems.”
“I am fortunate that I am passionate about what I do,” Gibson says. “It’s important for younger generations to engage in a career that they are passionate about to ensure they keep motivated.”
Aiding clients in their decision making, to ensure that their vision becomes a reality, and seeing projects succeed through team work also motivates him. As does his family. “I have a great family; my wife and two young boys motivate and inspire me to continually improve myself.”
Gibson has worked on many projects, including the Dubai Eye while with WSP. This was a very challenging project with tight deadlines and strict design codes. More recently, he has been involved in hospital projects, a laboratory in Saudi Arabia, as well as numerous thermal ice storage projects.
Gibson would like to be a part of growing the Parsons and Lumsden business. “I believe that the economy has been very slow for a few years, but we as a business are well-equipped to benefit when the economy starts to improve, which is hopefully soon.”