Building talks to new graduate Ahmet Ucakan of Fluid about the frustrations of being a trainee and the thrill of seeing his designs come to life
Why did you choose a career in construction?
I enjoyed maths and science at school, and at GCSE my favourite subjects were art and design and technology. I wanted to go into a career that would use all these and as I progressed I became more and more focused on design. I've got a visual brain, and my job makes use of it.

David Crookes, managing director at Fluid, was one of my lecturers at university. He offered me a job and I accepted straight away, because I know he's selective about the work he does.

What does your job involve?
I'm a trainee with a small team that makes up Fluid. It's my first job and I have been there for three months.

We're a structural engineer and technical designer and we tend to work on small projects that need a high level of expertise.

David will only choose projects that have something special about them – for instance, one that uses interesting materials. He is really interested in glasswork. We worked on the fit-out of the HMV store in Covent Garden and created the huge Coca-Cola sign in Piccadilly Circus. We've also worked on studios for the BBC and lots of small private jobs.

What is a typical day?
I don't have a typical day. I can be doing anything from just answering the phone to going on site and meeting with architects and site managers to discuss the detail of drawings.

At the moment, I'm working on a small house in London. We are restructuring the walls to make the space flow in the house better.

What frustrates you about being a trainee?
Having to ask questions all the time because I'm learning so much. But it's all part of the process and I get a lot of help. Next year, I'm going back to college to do a diploma in architectural engineering, so I have some way to go.

What gives you a buzz in your job?
Seeing the things I draw on paper come to life. Projects start as an idea, then you draw it, then it becomes a 3D image and finally it gets built. The process is absorbing.

How do you chill out?
I spend time with friends, ride my motorbike, a Honda CBR 400, read motorbike magazines and play a lot of tennis.

What's your ideal alternative career?
I'd be a racing driver. In fact, racing of any kind interests me. It's the kind of thing kids want to do – and so do I!

More seriously, I want to stay in construction and be an architectural engineer until I retire.


Ahmet Ucakan - it’s Turkish
Current job
Trainee architectural engineer at Fluid
Under £20,000
BSc in architectural engineering from the University of Westminster
Enfield, north London
Mum, dad, sister and cat