5 Minutes with Minh Anh
Minh Anh talks about his experience, challenges and what makes him happy about working with Atlas for almost 20 years.
How long have you been at Atlas?
As of November 2020, yes I’ve been 18 years with Atlas. I joined Atlas in November 2002, starting as an Architect doing 2D documentation drawings before being promoted to a Team Leader role, which was “Project Lead” title at this time. Eventually I was became an Architecture Manager, then Group Manager, currently managing a group of 30-40 staff working within various region including UK, Australia, NZ and UAE.
What were you doing before you discovered Atlas?
I used to work for a few international firms in the local Vietnam market before joining Atlas. They were SPCC (Sino-Pacific Construction Consultancy Co.Ltd) and NQH Architects Ltd, who did a major residential development in District 7, Saigon South, HCMC.
What brings you to Atlas? / How do you know about Atlas?
I had a Structural Engineer colleague who used to work with me at SPCC before she joined Atlas. She is the one to introduce me to the Atlas recruitment team and it didn’t take much time for me to decide to join the Atlas family. This was an opportunity for a young architect (me) to work closely with some of well-known architectural firms in UK on various international projects across the globe. How often people would say “no” to this!
What makes you happy about working at Atlas?
Joining Atlas was a good decision. Staying with Atlas for almost 20 years of my life has been rewarding. I have stuck around that long because Atlas provides an international professional working environment, provides a close “family” atmosphere from the very top management level down to each team member. At Atlas, you receive enough trainings, for both languages and software, and are also provided fair opportunities to develop your own skills and strength through actual project work, with tireless support from the senior management team to help with challenges during your career path within Atlas.
What’s the focus of your role?
As Group Manager, my role is primarily to manage client accounts from UK, New Zealand & Australia, to work closely with client design teams from Planning/ Concept Stage through Design Development to Construction Documentation Stages, to ensure client delivery programme and quality requirements are all met. We see ourselves here in Atlas as an extended delivery team providing support and depth at skills to the client design team. My job is also to manage team communications and client instructions between Atlas and the client team, doing this thoughtfully and effectively.
Can you describe a typical day?
Starting my day by checking my inbox, getting through all email correspondence coming through over a night, prioritizing tasks to ensure I have sufficient time during a day to respond to urgent requests. Talking to my management teams (Architecture Managers and Seniors) to follow & catch up on their project progress, discuss and agree with them a way moving forward to ensure our project delivery is going smoothly & effectively. I also assist the Atlas Proposal Team to review and work up fee proposal for new projects, often communicating with Atlas Business Development Teams to clarify Atlas scope of work and client expectations in order to provide the most appropriate proposals.
Which technology excites you the most?
Having a technical background, I find BIM technology is absolutely a great tool to develop the industry further to a next level. “3D printing” potential is exciting. To “print a house” rather than “build a house”! How cool is that! This technique is definitely the most efficient way to turn a design on paper into reality.
What is the most interesting project that you have been working on so far?
My first documentation project, Bridge Water Place in Leeds, UK, which is a mixed-use residential skyscraper building, having 40,000 sqm (430,000 sqft), 200 flats and 400 car parking spaces. It is the tallest building in Leeds with 32 storeys (112m height), 2 underground floors for car parks, 10 for office spaces and 20 for apartments. Its construction was completed in 2007.
What advice would you pass to someone entering the industry?
Learn tirelessly, work smartly, play faithfully & always stay positive.
One last question, how do you spend your spare time?
Managing my own team at home: Lucas 5 and Ryan 2 year-old.