09 June 2020
sponsored by Innovative Future Leaders Programme (IFLP)
*** Winner! ***
Millie Demol’s career at Willmott Dixon started at 18. Initially joining the company to take on work experience, she became permanent when she joined the company’s management trainee programme in September 2012. Millie’s potential and enthusiasm for the industry was apparent and her enthusiasm for construction, particularly design, led her to undertake a part-time degree at London South Bank University, studying commercial management and graduating with a 1st in 2017.
Millie is helping to address the construction skills gap. She is promoting careers in construction by regularly speaking at schools, events, exhibitions and other platforms to spread the message. Millie works closely with trainees and has recently become a mentor.
In more detail
Millie led the RIBA plan of works review to set the Willmott Dixon standard for stage 4 deliverables. Along with two other colleagues, Millie was given the task of looking at how the RIBA plan of works framework was defined and developing a document to streamline the process and create efficiencies across the supply chain. Millie’s leadership and drive through the duration on this project has led to it being successfully delivered with a launch planned in 2020. Millie engaged with supply chain partners and other departments across the business so that inconsistencies could be addressed and systems updated efficiently.
Recently, a project required a substantial cost saving of £3 million to be applied to its original design. Millie worked with the architect and customer to come up with viable solutions without compromising key elements of the design and structural requirements. Millie spent two days with the customer to resolve the issue and running through every element with them to find viable solutions. Through her collaboration and communication, she was able to analyse the design and reduce the footprint of the building by 250 sqm while maintaining the requirements of the main structure. The customer was delighted.
Most recently, Millie created a new guidance document for the fire services sector. Having won a contract to provide a new fire station for Horsham, West Sussex, Millie identified early on that a guidance document for the sector didn’t exist. Millie set about implementing and actioning this by organising to collectively visit recently completed projects to gain a clear understanding of best practice and lessons learnt from other fire stations. The outcome of these visits resulted in Millie producing a guide to assist all stakeholders involved with the design of new fire stations and/or training centres for the fire service. The guide was compiled utilising all the observations made at each facility visited, reviewing each space individually and providing key information and common themes from the visit.
Millie is well versed in the management of ecology requirements, having dealt with an extensive range including translocation of great crested newts and reptiles. Millie obtained all licences from Natural England and liaised with the project’s ecologist to ensure all reptiles were properly programmed. Millie also commissioned Sevenoaks Environmental Consultancy to undertake a full review of the survey, including the ecology documentation. She used this to ensure Willmott Dixon's One Programme reflects all critical relocation in line with the ecological calendar.
Karen Gentry, Business Manager at Cranmer Primary:
“Millie is a true asset to Willmott Dixon. During the Cranmer Primary School project, Millie was instrumental in ensuring pupils were fully involved and engaged overseeing several projects including creating viewing ‘windows’ in fencing for children to see progress, a poster competition, health and safety lecture as well as several meetings with architects to ensure the children’s ideas were incorporated.”
Philip Alden, Willmott Dixon:
“Although Millie is still within the early phase of her career in the industry she exhibits behaviours beyond her current level of experience, leading by example and setting a very high level of control and quality in her work. Other people in the business have started to look up to Millie as someone who excels.”
About the G4C Future Leader Award:
G4C is a driving force for industry change, through the development and connection of future industry leaders. The award is open to a person with less than ten years of experience in the construction and built environment sector (typically less than 35 years of age). Judges are looking for the person that best demonstrates a positive impact on their peers, their organisation and the wider industry, against current G4C priority areas of people development, sustainability and innovation.