People News

Our People: Geraint Johns.

11/08/2020

Delivering healthcare engineering to help those in need.

Geraint is a Mechanical Engineer based in our Plymouth office.

I was brought up in South Wales…

…and studied Mechanical Engineering at Swansea University. Since graduating, I’ve worked in Bath, Bristol, London and since 2012, I have settled at Hoare Lea in Plymouth.

My role…

…entails a great mixture of design and team management. I really enjoy being able to lead on projects and I like the collaboration opportunities that arise.

I predominantly work in Hoare Lea’s healthcare team with most of my work at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro and The Royal Devon & Exeter hospital.

My interest in healthcare engineering…

…comes from working on complex systems. Hospitals are heavily serviced so, as engineers, we can have a real influence on the shape and form of these buildings.

I have been able to see how my work can make a direct difference to people’s lives. I’ve worked on projects at the same hospital where my son was born; it doesn’t get any more personal than that.

I always remember this when designing. It could be me, or a family member that ends up in one of these places and I want to make sure it can provide the best care.

The conservation of energy…

…is on everyone’s minds, and rightly so; healthcare buildings are big energy users. With the UK setting strict sustainability targets, hospitals need to play their part in achieving these goals too.

Often hospitals use what could be considered as ‘old fashioned’ methods of heat generation such as steam, as an example. With many Trusts aspiring to move away from these, there is an opportunity to work on some incredibly interesting and challenging projects.

During lockdown…

… I was fortunate enough to be able to provide emergency support to Yangon General (YGH) in Myanmar, a hospital on the other side of the world, from the comfort of my spare bedroom.

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and admissions rapidly increased, YGH needed emergency support. I was part of the team working alongside Article 25 that stepped in to provide the necessary equipment needed to care for patients.

I worked with local civil engineers, architects and hospital staff, identifying what could be done to provide a fast response. We suggested ways to improve the medical oxygen supply to the main building and determined how oxygen therapy could be conducted safely.

I presented my feasibility report via Microsoft Teams to clinicians and estates staff in Yangon, supported by a Burmese interpreter.

I really admire the work Article 25 does and hope to collaborate again in the future.

In my spare time…

…I’m interested in all things fitness! I created a make-shift garage gym during lockdown to stay in shape, and I compete CrossFit type events when I can.

I also have a motorbike which I enjoy riding around Devon and Cornwall.