Martin Cox, Head of Engineering here at DTE joined the company back in March 2020, just one week before the national lockdown. Martin is no stranger to the business and was previously General Manager at our site in Andover from 2004 – 2014. As one of the newest members of our Leadership team, we caught up with Martin, ‘virtually’ to find out about his role.
I knew from an early age that I wanted to be an engineer, and the timber industry has helped me to achieve this. I started my career in the industry at the age of 16 and studied for my Engineering Honours Degree in Civil Engineering on a part time basis.
I then joined MiTek, as a UK Design Services Manager and supervised a team of 8 people who provided design support to trussed rafter fabricators throughout the UK. I worked at MiTek for two years before starting my own business, Martin Cox Design, as a self-employed designer. While self-employed, I was introduced to DTE and became General Manager at Andover in 2004. I briefly left DTE in 2014, to start my Timber Engineering Consultancy MC Design but after meeting up with MD, Luke Roberts in January 2020, I felt it was the right time to re-join DTE as Head of Engineering.
Engineers like to solve problems
I’m a problem solver! I am here to provide engineering, design and technical support to the design teams throughout DTE. I am also heavily involved in design work, training and special projects which will ultimately benefit the customer and the company. I spend a lot of time working with our Technical Director, Oli James, resolving complex design issues. There’s no better feeling for me than when I resolve an issue that has been causing the team problems.
The design team draw upon my experience to resolve any issues, and to answer any questions. If I don’t know the answer straight away, it is my responsibility to carry out research until we find a solution for our customer. The problems are then used as training points during our meetings with design champions from each site to ensure continuous improvement and shared learning within the team.
No Two Days the Same
Every day is different, exciting, and of course sometimes challenging! I enjoy interacting with the team, being able to help resolve issues and learning something new every day. It is great to be part of DTE and to be helping to make a difference.
No day is a typical day! I need to be flexible and available to react to issues as they arise. For large projects, I am able to plan accordingly but I have to ensure I’m on hand to respond to day-to-day issues that crop up. Some days I can be immersed in design work, head down with no calls or meetings and others it can be the complete opposite with back-to-back calls and meetings.
Claim to Fame
I designed the first ever trussed rafter roof for a McDonald’s restaurant in South Africa, which then became their ‘standard construction’. The double pitch exterior profile with a dropped interior flat roof with gutter profile and a span of over 14 metres made for an interesting design. This really is my claim to fame and one of the most memorable projects I’ve worked on to date.
Hobbies and Interests
At the moment, I love lots of dog walking and exploring the outdoors in my local area with my wife and son. I am a keen cyclist and road train during the week and off-road train at the weekend. We’re excited to start taking trips away when travel is permitted again as we love exploring new places.