Meet the team at JFTS Harlow

Learn more about some of our skilled experts based at the James Fisher Testing Services (JFTS) branch in Harlow near London.

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Offering a broad range of testing services including plate load testing and materials testing (concrete, soils and aggregates), JFTS Harlow is located within a short distance from the centre of London.

Watch the video below to see how the team are dedicated to providing exceptional service to customers across South England and what the exciting future looks like for the branch.

 Read the full interviews from the team below.

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Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Arturo Sanz, operations manager at James Fisher Testing Services in Harlow since January this year (2019).

What’s your background in testing services?

I went to university at Zaragoza, Spain to study geology. From there I started working in site labs in different parts of Spain. I moved to Portugal, where I worked for two years in a large site lab. From there I moved back to Spain with Geocisa (Dragados Group). 

After moving to Barcelona I then got the opportunity to join Euroconsult in a joint venture with Testconsult in the UK, working on the Mersey Gateway.

Tell us a bit about your role at Harlow?

As operations manager it is my job to be the link between our regional offices in Warrington and Portlaoise, Ireland, and our staff in Harlow.

Additionally, I manage the team here in Harlow, ensuring I transmit all the knowledge and experience I’ve picked up over my career down to them.

Due to my background in the Spanish construction testing sector, I am also forging relationships with Spanish construction companies with a presence in the UK.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I still love going out on site. In materials testing, there is always something new to study or a new test to learn. I really enjoy the technical aspects of the job, to use my knowledge and experience to solve a problem or to offer a new solution, it often feels like being a detective, which to me is fascinating.

What does the future hold for Harlow?

There’s so much opportunity here as we are right on London’s doorstep. There is a never ending cycle of construction and maintenance, with new bridges, buildings or roads being built every day.

A big opportunity in the future will be HS2. The quantity of companies and people working on a project on that scale will be vast, and as with any large project there will have to be a lot of testing.

What sets JFTS Harlow apart from the competition?

The quality of service sets us apart. This is the foundation of JFTS and the James Fisher Group as a whole.

We may not be the biggest testing laboratory in the South East but we can be proud to offer a service that means we have a loyal base of customers.

Are there any new developments at Harlow?

We have recently added noise, dust and vibration monitoring to our breadth of services. We place monitoring equipment at a customer site where it will report on exceeding noise, dust or vibration levels, ensuring the customer complies with planning regulations and notifies them via automated alerts of any contraventions.

We have also invested in a new fleet of vans, helping us to improve our service across the region.


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Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Ryan, I work for James Fisher Testing Services as a senior site technician.

How did you come to join the James Fisher Group?

I first found the job looking for trainee positions, I wanted to work somewhere where I could learn a lot and where had good routes for progression.

I started off working on the concrete cube crushing tests, learning more as time went on, both in the lab and on site.

Tell us a bit about your job and role?

As a senior site technician, my job is to make sure the work being carried out is done to a high standard, and to train technicians on any tests or equipment they haven’t used before.

I also make sure that customers are happy on site, where I determine whether the testing is sufficient for the job and offer any advice on our testing services in regard to the work they’re carrying out, now and in the future.

What are the different types of testing that JFTS offers?

We offer a broad range of tests including; plate bearing test, or CBR testing, pile testing, structural surveys, monitoring, bridge monitoring, coring, road coring, DCP, foundation of roads and foundations of buildings.

The plate load test is a particular favourite of mine, it’s efficient, and quick and easy to set up. We can do four tests in an hour, letting us get on and off site quickly, enabling the customer to get on with their project. Additionally, you get all the data straight away, giving the customer an instant result.

What sets JFTS apart from the competition?

It’s the service. Any time we complete a test the results are sent back to our office in Harlow, who will then fill in the report and send it straight back to the customer. For us, it is all about how you communicate with the customer, the detail in the reports and how you get the reports back to the customer.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

As a team, we are confident in our ability, creating a great atmosphere. We all work together as a team and we all get on well.

What does the future hold for Harlow?

We are looking to expand on the amount of tests we can offer. With us being so close to London, we want to expand our service to further tap into the vast opportunity in the capital. We are also bringing in more equipment and further developing our processes in the lab, enabling us to work more efficiently and expand our capabilities, all of which benefits the customer.


Tell us a bit about yourself?

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My name is Richard, I’m the laboratory team leader at James Fisher Testing Services Harlow.


How did you join the James Fisher Group?

I’ve worked in this field before. My manger from a previous job, he came here first and, of course, wanted someone else in the lab so he asked me to join him. I came and I have been here ever since.


So how long have you been at JFTS (formerly Testconsult)?

Nine and a half years. I started off as a technician and then worked my way up. It’s been really good here, compared to other labs because I find there’s more opportunity to learn new things. We have never been afraid to take things on.


Tell us about your job?

Day-to-day I manage the team, as well as manage the work coming through. I liaise with our clients and make sure we meet their needs. If they have any issues at all, we always resolve them straight away.

My main focus at the minute is developing the team, because they are all keen to learn new things, so I try to keep it rolling, helping them to learn and develop.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

It would be developing the technicians and trying to build that relationship with them. I think that it is quite an important thing. They’ll often come up to me and ask about a particular test and I will try to put them in a position where they get to learn it, by pairing them with other technicians. Rotating them through different jobs also helps to develop their understanding of the different tests that we offer.


What does the future hold?

We’re always adding to the suite of tests we offer to our customers and there has been talk about further expansion this year. With every new test we bring in, we aim to increase customer satisfaction and provide faster turnarounds. 


What sets JFTS Harlow apart from all the other testing houses?

We aim to provide a professional service and meet customers’ turnaround times. They’ve got a job to do, which they can’t continue doing until they have their reports. We do our best to meet the deadlines as fast as we can. I think that is what a lot of clients really appreciate.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

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I'm Peter and I am a technician at James Fisher Testing Services in Harlow.

What’s your job role?

I’m a technician, I specialise in testing concrete compressive strength. Day-to-day I mark the sample cubes when they come in, input them into the system, put them in their water tanks and crush them for the strength testing. In the afternoons I’m in the office, inputting all the results from the testing earlier in the day, ensuring our customers get their results on time.

James Fisher Testing Services is UKAS accredited, what does that mean for our customers?

UKAS comes in every year to oversee the testing we operate here in our lab. Everything we do has to conform to strict regulations, which in turn gives our customers confidence in our service, site, team and equipment, and our ability to provide precise and accurate results.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the routine of it. I know where I’ve got to be, at what time and the tasks I’ve got to do each day.

We’re a great team here, I often think of us as a little family. We all work for each other and help each other out if we need it. That’s how we work, we work as a team. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

What does the future hold?

We’re in the process of updating our current systems, which will mean we get the results out to our customers quicker, and reduce the amount of paperwork required.

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Tell us about yourself?

My name is Lewis, I’ve been working at James Fisher Testing Services (formerly Testconsult) for five years, coming up to six this year (2019). I started at Testconsult, crushing cubes, and then started working and learning more things in the lab including; beams, core, snap beams, tensile splitting, washers and PSDs.

Now I work in the office, working on the logistics side of operations. I look after site reports, vehicles, planning routes for our drivers, booking in new jobs and organising quotations, amongst other things.

How did you come to join the James Fisher group?

My brother, Ryan, began working here before me. When I was at university I was looking for work in my summer break and he recommended Testconsult to me on his experience, and so I applied.

I returned to university and graduated with a degree in engineering. I then applied for a full-time position with Testconsult after I graduated.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Seeing it progress, from what it was at Testconsult, to what it is now under James Fisher. It’s great seeing the process, from when a customer phones up to the reports going out at the end. It’s good to see that and a happy customer at the end of it.

What do you think the future holds?

We have new testing services coming in for noise, dust and vibration monitoring, which I will be the lead on, so I’m looking forward to that launching.

Have you noticed a big difference between Testconsult to James Fisher Testing Services?

It’s been a slow but steady transition. We’ve been under the James Fisher Group for around three years now and we have all noticed improvements across the company. Now we have Arturo, our operations manager in place. He has been making strides in team development, making the team feel more supported in our roles.

Contact us for more information about how we can support your project requirements.