Employee portrait. Chris Holt
Chris Holt has been working as an electrical engineer for NIRAS and its previous incarnations in United Kingdom for the last 28 years. Here he is at NIRAS' office in Ascot.
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Chris Holt: We have experts in almost every single area

With more than 28 years of professional experience, electrical engineer Chris Holt has nearly seen it all in terms of projects in the food and beverage industry. But he still finds it gratifying to deliver a project all the way from its initial design phase to its conclusion.

Chris Holt is an electrical engineer who has been working for NIRAS and its previous incarnations for the last 28 years. His area of work includes project design on electrical installations, control panels and automation. 

“The thing I enjoy most about the job is the fact that largely we do what we describe as turnkey type projects. It means that first you do the design and then you get to see the final installation. So you get the possibility to prove that your design actually worked. I think that is one of the greatest enjoyments and achievements in this job.”

 

Chris is working simultaneously on a variety of projects. Since many clients in the food and beverage sector do not want their projects or company names revealed, some of Chris’ projects are shrouded in secrecy that would be fitting for a James Bond movie. Sometimes even the location is classified information.

“The last year I have been am working on the Brains Brewery in Cardiff, where I worked as the electrical designer and did all the electrical design for the brewery. I have also been doing some work for a distillery in Kenya and on a new development where I am not allowed to mention neither the company nor the project,” says Chris Holt.

“NIRAS’ expertise can add value to a client’s project. We have different experts in almost every single area, so if a client have a problem, we can give advice.”

Chris Holt, Electrical Project Engineer, NIRAS

Best food and beverage project ever?

During the years, Chris have worked on countless projects, but the ones that have presented an extra challenge are the ones that has also given the greatest sense of professional gratification.

“One of the best projects I have worked on in NIRAS was on a brand new distillery. It was a whole building with new technology. It was a different aspect to things, because it was a hazardous place and it was a highly inflammable environment, so I had to make sure that the little electrical devices did not cause the things to go bang!,” says Chris Holt.

Apart from the novelty factor of the project, Chris also liked the fact that it was a complete project.

“A lot of our work consists of extensions to existing plants, but this distillery was a complete project at a completely new site so all the services and the processes were all new. The project was interesting because the buildings were very old, and there were a lot of problems fitting the new equipment into the building. The client had a good understanding of how the process worked, so it made easier. That was one of the most interesting projects I have worked on.”

Adding value to clients

According to Chris Holt, one of NIRAS’ strengths is the ability to enter into a close dialogue with the clients.

“We try to listen and get the information out our clients about how they would like their project done. We do not say ‘this is how you should do a project’. Generally, they have existing sites so they already know what standards they want to work to, and we adapt our design to suit what the client needs,” he says.

Chris Holt also highlights the level of expertise within NIRAS as an advantage for its clients:
“NIRAS’ expertise can add value to a client’s project. We have different experts in almost every single area, so if a client have a problem, we can give advice.”

With the recent addition of the business consultant company Integrated Food Projects to the NIRAS Group, NIRAS is now able to offer a full range of consulting and engineering services to the British and international food and beverage industry.