Where are they now? A catch up with former KTP Associate, Richard Morton
The KTP team caught up with former KTP Associate, Richard Morton, to see where his role at Taranto has taken him and discuss how KTP helped fast track his career prospects.
Richard Morton joined the KTP family in 2010, he became an Associate with Taranto- an industry leader who provide the vital foundation for all modern multi-storey buildings. Richard stayed with Taranto after completing his KTP Project and was promoted to Technical Director at the company.
“My role now involves some travel to the UK to sites and other offices. I am responsible for all technical aspects of the business whilst also being involved in research and development of new products.”
Richard graduated from Queen’s with a 1st Class Honours degree in Environmental and Civil Engineering before applying for the KTP project. He told us,
“One of the academics involved with the project was Professor Su Taylor, and I recall her speaking to a group of us in final year about this KTP with Taranto. Taranto was a company that I was aware of as I lived close by – so it seemed like a great opportunity.
“I wasn’t familiar with what a KTP involved at that stage but when I read the application form it became apparent that it offered a great way of getting into industry whilst also maintaining links with the University and research.”
Richard’s KTP project involved optimising concrete design, testing and manufacturing processes. The company had a high dependency on concrete from outside sources. To improve efficiency and lower costs, it needed to design and manufacture lower energy and consistent concrete. Richard assisted in developing in-house testing facilities,
“My KTP was to optimise mix designs at Taranto for their precast concrete manufacture and develop a Self Compacting Concrete which would bring about quality, cost and environmental benefits to the company.”
This KTP started at a time of economic downturn in the Construction industry and, not only did Richard and the project team exceed the aim of the original project plan, they drove the development of extremely low energy concretes with improved structural performance using locally sourced materials with the encapsulation of waste products.
The project was so successful it achieved winner status in the ‘Best Overall KTP Project’ category at the National KTP Awards. When giving advice to recent or upcoming graduates / post graduates, Richard said,
“The KTP Programme is a great stepping stone into industry; projects are normally research based which in itself is really interesting and you have a knowledge base from which to learn and develop from – the practical and commercial angle from the company and the technical/theoretical minds in the University. There are very few graduate schemes in companies which will rival the support offered in KTP, I would absolutely recommend KTP for recent or upcoming graduates and post graduates”
A KTP provides graduates and post graduates with an opportunity to not only lead a real life project within industry, but also paths a route to upskill and develop in the business landscape.
“My KTP Project provided a great environment for learning- I was able to develop my technical skills through research, communication skills through presenting at the LMC’s and leadership skills by being involved in implementing change in a company. I also completed a diploma in Management which offered a great insight into overall business management.”
KTP at Queen’s certainly provides our Associates with an opportunity to make a positive impact in the host company, the resources at hand from Queen’s aid transformational change and provide a platform to stand out. Over 90% of Associates are offered permanent positions at the end of their projects.
Richard holds KTP in high regard and believes, “it would tick all the boxes with regards to collaboration, innovation, research and communication” when applying these skills to your future career oportunities.