Chris Murray

Director, Operations
MEng CEng MICE

TEL +44 (0)20 7442 2216
c.murray@whitbywood.com

Chris Murray CV
— highly experienced structural engineer
— leads operations for the whole practice
— works in a broad range of sectors
— focused on developing and maintaining strong client and project team relationships
— appreciates the joint effort it requires to realise a project
— working to reduce the embodied carbon of building frames
— particularly interested in solving the challenges of inner city sites
— looks for efficiency in the design of structures
— mentors graduate engineers working towards Chartership in the UK
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Chris Murray

Interview

Chris Murray has built himself a reputation for efficiently engineered, buildable projects. “I speak the language of a developer and a contractor,” he explains, “and I’m very aware on a project that it’s all someone’s money that they don’t need to spend. I reassess stuff, make sure it’s not overdesigned. My thing’s always been: I do this job to see stuff get built!”

Growing up in Newport, Wales, Chris originally thought he’d like to be a mechanical engineer, but he got into Oxford, where mechanical engineering isn’t on the Engineering Science syllabus. Luckily, he found out he preferred structural and civil engineering anyway.

His first job was at a “giant engineering firm” because he “wanted to build skyscrapers and football stadiums.” The scope of the company enabled him to work on major projects that included Crossrail and Gatwick airport — “cool stuff”. He stayed for nine years, until he began to feel he “wanted to move back to structures.”

At his next company, he continued to pursue his liking for “tall, deep, complex” projects, such as Novotel Canary Wharf “which was the UK’s tallest hotel at the time.” He also grew his portfolio of residential developments in dense urban areas, which he brings with him to Whitby Wood.

“I do like working on the tallest thing, the biggest thing,” he laughs. “One day my kids and I were on a train going past one of my sites and there was a massive crane on it. I told them, ‘Look, that’s where Daddy works — isn’t it massive!’ My son went to school and told everyone I was a crane driver.”

PILE IT ON US
Everyone I’ve got on my team now is spot on. We’ve grown together. We take our jobs very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’ve got some really, really clever people working here — which makes our job much easier. There’s pressure, because we’ve got a lot of projects, but I find that easier than managing just one project. I’m only happy when I’m busy.

TAKE THAT CALL
I don’t beat around the bush. At Whitby Wood, we are honest, and we are reactive — which fundamentally means that we answer the phone. It’s amazing how few people do, these days.

KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE
I’d still like to do a stadium. A new stadium for Manchester United — that would be cool.

Chris Murray’s projects …
Greenwich Design District

Greenwich Design District

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London's first purpose-built design district with 16 buildings by eight architects, all engineered by Whitby Wood ... on the TIME World's Greatest Places 2021 list
completed
Chesterfield House

Chesterfield House

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A three-part high-rise residential PRS development that incorporates partial re-use and extension of an existing basement.
completed
Queen's Quarter

Queen’s Quarter

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A cluster of four new residential high-rise for central Croydon in London's south, the tallest of which is 35 storeys.
on site
Sutton Court

Sutton Court supported housing

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For a West London residential project, we rationalised an existing structural solution to aid the contractor in its efficient construction.
completed
Bridport Place

Bridport Place

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Ten storey residential building on a tight site in East London, featuring cantilevers and set-backs in its structural design.
completed
Lake Cottage

Lake Cottage

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A contemporary house on a rural lakeside site, consisting of a series of new buildings set around an existing thatched cottage.
completed
Aparthotel, Cambridge

The Fellows House, Curio by Hilton

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Scheme review and project delivery for a 162-key hotel — rationalising the structural and geotechnical solutions.
completed
Bronze

Bronze

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An award-winning high-rise residential tower in south London with two glazed facades, and a diverted road passing through it.
completed