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  • Richard A. Radevsky
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Richard A. Radevsky
Featured Profile: 
At A Glance
Licensed Body: 
First Degree: 
BSc Civil Engineering
Loss Adjuster and Risk Consultant
Works For: 
Charles Taylor Technical
Big Picture
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to do a practical job and one where I was tackling interesting problems and meeting different people. In my job things happen at short notice. All of a sudden you receive a phone call and you are on a plane. My job gives me travel to interesting places and a chance to look at interesting things. I also meet people in other countries in their normal working environment. I prefer that to being a tourist where you only meet people who have been trained to be nice to you. In my job you deal with people in their real life roles.
What would you change? 
The long working hours!
What qualifications did you take at school? 
O’levels and A’levels with a degree in civil engineering
How do you describe your job when you meet people at a party? 
I tell them I deal with insurance claims and surveys for large engineering projects: power stations, motorways under construction, underground railways. Claims involve anything where there’s been a disaster. There’s two parts to my job: Part one, I look at damage that’s occurred, why it happened, and the cost to repair it. I analyze it and find out whether it’s insured under an insurance policy. Part two, I look at large projects while they’re being built and try to advise the insurers and people building to minimize the chance of a disaster
What is ‘cutting-edge’ about your work? 
My department developed a simple way for people to manage their risks, especially complicated risks. For big engineering projects, it’s difficult to determine what risks you take from the onset. We created a spreadsheet based system that people can use in a simple way that allows them to make a solid assessment of the risks their operation has. We helped de-mystify and simplify the process.
Describe briefly how your career has progressed to date. 
I have had a fairly unconventional career path which is not just straightforward civil engineering. Having started as a civil/water engineer, I then got a legal arbitration qualification to help me deal with contracts. I also got involved in starting up a new loss adjusting company. Now I deal with risk surveys, claims and risk consultancy which mixes science, engineering, insurance and law. All in all, I have 20+ years experience of the technical, legal and insurance worlds and I’ve had consultancy assignments in the UK and all over the world (Europe, North America, Middle East, Scandinavia, Asia, and Africa)
How is your job cross-disciplinary? 
I deal with lots of different types of engineers and great specialists in their field – chemical, electrical, mechanical engineers… the list goes on. I also work with architects, surveyors, lawyers and accountants and insurers… lots of different professions. A big part of my job is to explain something technical in a simple way to people who are not technical. I look at something which I understand and figure out how to explain it to someone who is not a technical expert.
How well is your job compensated? What is the starting salary for your field, and how much can this be expected to rise? 
The starting salary for my line of work ranges from £25-35K a year. This will then increase depending on how much someone can add to their initial training. At my company, if someone has a science or engineering degree in one particular discipline, we’d want them to add knowledge to it (i.e. insurance). They are expected to study at the same time as working but there are aspects of the job you can only learn through practical experience. To become an expert in demand it takes a long time. You have to be able to show that you have training and qualifications and expertise plus building up a reputation with clients. If you make a mistake it can cost a great deal of money. Your salary starts to rise when you are really competent and working well. At my company, normally we want people to have practical experience and look to take on people out of industry
What’s the most unexpected thing about your job? 
My job is interesting and a bit scary, especially when I’m propelled into a disaster zone, which has happened a few times. We deal with large insurance claims. So, for example, when there was a massive terrorist attack in Sri Lanka and a huge bomb went off in the city, many were on their way out of the country except I was on the first plane in. Another time, it was when a massive hurricane hit in the Caribbean. I was sent to sort out claims and had to deal with people who were in great distress. Most of the time I work with companies, but if a big disaster strikes (i.e. hurricane, earthquake) then I’m often dealing with individuals. I remember meeting a lady where there was nothing left of her house…it had completely blown away which was very shocking.
What do your friends and family think about your job? 
They think all travel is glamorous…even though it isn’t! Some think there’s a nerdy element to the job but I don't mind that because it's so interesting.
What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax? 
Spending time with my children. Going to the theatre. Travelling, photography, history…
What is the value of professional bodies? 
It’s very important to regulate the quality of people who are qualified as well as setting a standard to get your qualifications. This is absolutely crucial. Professional bodies also ensure people are kept up to date with latest information
Advice & Reflection
What words of wisdom would you give someone interested in getting into your field? 
Be patient and do your apprenticeship. People want to get a senior position immediately. But it takes a long time to learn how to do the job. They say it takes 75,000 hours of experience to become an expert. That’s very, very true. If you want to be an expert, a person to be valued, then you need to put in the time. Some people go straight to a senior level for political reasons and they struggle. It’s not an enviable position. If you want to be successful in my type of job or professional services then you have to focus on what your clients want – not what you want. You’ve simply got to accept you have to provide the services that your clients demand, and not push something that you think is fun. You have to focus on what’s practical to them
How important is the mentoring process in your field and to you personally? 
Absolutely crucial. It’s extremely important if you’re going to get better at what you’re going to do – it’s vital to have people review what you produce. Any report I write has to be looked at by somebody else before it can go anywhere. That’s crucial. Everyone has a different view and having the input of others makes you look at your work in a different way. When I started working my first report had red ink all over it. That red ink has reduced over the years but is never eliminated completely.
How would you define “professionalism”? 
From my point of view, professionalism is valuing what is right above the interests of any party. Holding to the truth. Not changing your opinion despite pressure you may feel
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