Solid Structures is a young, friendly structural engineering business based in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. It was started in 2005 by Sean Daly, responding to a need for a bespoke engineering service with hands-on director involvement. In 2012, Mark Harris became a director and joined Sean as owner.
Trust and transparency were key values upon which the company was founded. As the business has grown, these values have remained at the heart of everything we do, enabling us to build open and lasting client relationships.
Our people are what make us great. They are the core of our business and the key to our success. We look after them and they look after you.
As a former part-time firefighter, Sean is our all-action hero. He works hard, he plays hard, he rescues kittens from trees (well, he used to).
Sean is also a Chartered Structural Engineer with two decades of design experience. From a family of builders and engineers, Sean could read drawings and take off quantities from the age of 16.
Driven, energetic and focussed at work, with a particular passion for complex stone staircases, Sean has been a specialist tutor to Oxford Brookes University first-year architecture students.
Outside of work Sean can often be seen ploughing this drive and energy into ensuring that he puts on a good party. These days however, this is balanced out with a spot of Sunday fishing with his son.
With over 20 years in engineering design, Mark has developed a passion for exciting collaborative design solutions. He offers a bold approach in creative ideas whilst maintaining a careful eye on the detail.
His designs have attracted accolades from the Concrete Society, the steel industry, the Institute of Structural Engineers, the Institute of Civil Engineers, the Civic Society and the Oxford Preservation Trust.
A keen baker, Mark regularly boasts about winning the 2013 Men’s Baking Category at the Lechlade Produce Show, although he’s less keen to discuss the following year where he was disqualified for the wrong tin size.
Adrian’s our cool dude surfer and drummer from Cornwall, with a love for cycling and vintage BMXs. He plays drums in a band called White Beam – very apt for a structural engineer.
His passion for engineering evolved during a year out in Australia, where he worked as a site engineer on a city centre development in Sydney. These days as Director at Solid, he plays a key role in the management of the company and work load planning whilst continuing to deliver design led projects.
Our Associate leading the Infrastructure team, Argemiro, is also our master storyteller. Whether it’s the time he married his wife three times in a year, the occasion he lost a horse on a night out in his native Colombia, the scar on his finger from a piranha fish bite or the tale behind his two birthdays.
Argemiro’s approach to work is just as spirited, whether he’s coordinating multi-disciplinary teams, liaising with stakeholders at all levels or collaborating with project delivery teams to develop high quality projects beyond client standards.
A former accident-and-emergency nurse, Emily holds a wide range of interesting and critically important job roles; chief among them Office Baker and, unsurprisingly, First-Aider.
When Emily’s not baking or patching up the accident-prone (i.e. Dani), she can be found riding her horse or tending to her pigs, chickens, dog, gerbils, gecko and three children.
Oh, and she also manages the office and keeps us all under control. Phew.
A structural engineer with more than eight years’ design experience across a broad range of sectors and clients, Will has worked on numerous historic buildings in Oxford.
A problem solver and a leader, he enjoys the design process from conception to completion, delivering practical, robust designs.
Will loves a challenge – the Three Peaks Challenge, the Paris-Roubaix cycle sportive, the ‘getting your colleagues to take part in the Oxford half marathon’ challenge – he’s done them all. He also loves a bit of break dancing, but we hear he’s less successful at this.
With 16 years’ experience, spanning many civil sectors from mining, roads and dams to construction, there aren’t many Civil sectors Diane, our senior CAD technician hasn’t worked in. Very little escapes her keen eye for detail, ensuring her drawings are delivered on time and with great efficiency.
Diane’s Yin to her civils draughting Yang is creating stunning pieces of jewellery by up-cycling old silver cutlery. She also has a VERY strong pair of legs having cycled 500 miles from Jacksonville to Key West in Florida, USA!
Not only is Richard a master baker of Star Wars cakes, he is also a senior CAD technician with more than 20 years’ experience.
Building on his extensive knowledge of BIM, Richard produces 3D models using Tekla Structures, Allplan Engineering and Revit.
He likes to travel whenever he can – whether on his bike to see his favourite bands, with his wife on the Trans-Siberian railway or in his inflatable canoe, Colin. He once went to Mongolia to milk a yak (and travel, apparently).
Working on very complicated drawings is what makes Michael tick. As the youngest member of our CAD technicians’ team, he has learnt his craft while working on complex projects for National Rail. Here at Solid Structures, Michael has honed his skills on Residential, Heritage, Workplace and University projects, making him a very valuable member of our team.
When Michael is not behind a computer, he is behind the wheel of his 250 kart which he races nationally. Not content with just driving it, he takes great pleasure in servicing it as well. A true nuts and bolts man!
With an eagle eye for detail, Kim’s joined the team as our lovely Finance Manager. Well, lovely if you toe the line and keep your time sheets up to date. She’s another keen runner and is often seen pounding the local roads and tracks training for her next charity run.
Before joining Solid Structures, she ran her 350 acre family farm for 10 years - managing the solar park, all the residential and commercial lettings and 75,000 chickens! And before farm life, she studied at the London College of Fashion and then was a mould maker for sculptors.
A Farmer/Finance Manager/Fashionista - a pretty eclectic mix to add to the Solid crew!
Paul ‘Bruce Lee’ Mills is our martial arts hero. Not only does he have black belts in Krav Maga and Kick Boxing, but his seven year old daughter has even taught him to do a cartwheel.
A graduate of Queens’ College, Cambridge, Paul joined us as an Associate in 2017, bringing a wealth of experience in complex engineering projects and a passion for building enduring and collaborative relationships with architects and contractors.
Paul also loves to travel. He was once nearly washed away trying to cross a river in Malaysia. Yet again, his one-off blend of structural engineering prowess and high-kicking martial arts skills came to the fore, fighting back the jungle wildlife and building a shelter for an unplanned night under the stars. Baloo has got nothing on him.
Bringing the Bossa beat to Solid comes Ernest, from Brazil. In fact, he’s half-Brazilian and half-Croatian. To confuse matters further, he’s also lived in Abu Dhabi (where he worked on a camel race track project), Spain and Turkey.
Movie-fan Ernest has completed degrees in both Architecture and Structural Engineering. Through this, he brings an unrivalled passion to deliver collaborative solutions and an ability to unlock the engineering and architectural potential in projects.
Having once worked as a barista in Spain, he’s also the right man in the office to seek out when you fancy a cup of coffee. We’re pretty sure that even an instant tastes better when Ernest makes it!
To Solid via the Ukraine and Coventry, comes Iryna – a fast-learner with a first-class master’s degree in Civil Engineering. Passionate about structural and civil engineering design, Iryna joined the team in 2017.
A budding gymnast (professional in her teens), yoga bunny and craft enthusiast, Iryna is a self proclaimed “nerd”. Her qualifications in this regard are nearly as good as her engineering ones, with an almost disturbingly detailed knowledge of Sci Fi.
She also plays a bit of squash and does Tai Kwon-Do (watch out Paul) and has notched up some modelling experience, appearing in TV ads as a child.
You’d think it would be exhausting being Iryna but she still manages to bring heaps of energy to Solid.
Nothing gets Cristian more excited than an ordered approach to work. Having experience in projects from inception right through to completion, gives him a really thorough understanding how decisions made early in the project can have a profound impact on the outcome at a much later stage.
It’s no surprise then that our archetypal engineer loves travelling to cities like Zurich where everything is engineered to work efficiently. Learning to cook, and more importantly, making Romanian apple pie, was high on Cristian’s priority lists when he first moved to the UK. A great addition to our budding baking buddies team!
With experience as both an architect and project manager in the UK and her native South Africa, Henda approaches her role as marketing manager with the creative flair of an architect and the analytical precision of a project manager. A perfect combination of left and right brain thinking to keep our marketing strategy on track!
Having renovated four homes already, her husband and two children’s biggest fear is the words “potential” and “Rightmove” in the same sentence! When not planning her next renovation, Henda loves pottering in the garden or creating Ottolenghi dishes in the kitchen.