Under The Spotlight with Mark Smith

Mark Smith has been with Paul Basham Associates since the beginning and is our Director overseeing the Transport Planning department. We are talking to Mark to learn a bit more about his role, the challenges as the company grows and what the future holds.

What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day role?

Without doubt it is talking with clients, project teams and colleagues. I probably spend 80% of a typical day either on the phone, in meetings (virtual or increasingly back to face-to-face) or problem solving with members of the team. Typically fuelled by coffee (never tea) and cake, I love the variety of projects and clients that we work with and our in house team’s work ethic to deliver the right result.

How have your found the challenges faced over the last 20 months?

The COVID pandemic certainly created challenges, and one of the greatest strengths of the team at Paul Basham Associates is the team spirit and the desire for everyone to work together and support each other through it. I spent more time than I would have liked sat at a camping table in the spare room, and many clients have now met my young daughter and cat through guest appearances on Teams calls/Zoom meetings, but similarly I feel I have a better understanding and appreciation of clients and colleagues beyond the workplace.

What do you see in the future at Paul Basham Associates?

It is a very exciting time for the company, with expanded services into Structural Engineering and greater regional presence by our Bristol and Cambridge offices. My heart will always be with Transport Planning however, and with evolving policies and transport issues seeming to crop up with every planning application I see the busy times continuing.

What do you get up to in your free time?

What free time? Outside of work my two kids keep me incredibly busy and I am starting to get to that point where the weekends are a time simply for ferrying children around. I do Jiu Jitsu with my son Max on Saturday mornings and help out with his Beaver colony on Wednesdays, but do find a bit of time to play football on Sunday evenings. And like most people find myself getting through Netflix, a beer or a good book in the evenings.