Teodor Perfanov is the Founding Director of KPT Design, starting the practice in 2017. He is a chartered structural engineer with over 15 years of experience.
- Why did you choose structural engineering? What inspired you to get into that field of study?
As a student, I was really good at maths. After graduating from high school I knew that engineering would be my professional field. Having considered my options and preferences I chose structural engineering. It was an interesting choice which I have not regretted for a moment. This I consider as my first successfully completed project and it feels good.
- How did you come up with the idea of KPT Design? How did you come up with the name?
I used to work for other consultancies, and I am really grateful for all the knowledge and experience I got from my managers over the years. In 2017 I realized that it was about time for new challenges in my career. I wanted to be part of a company that focuses on the engineering product, and that was the reason why I decided to start KPT Design. The name is an acronym formed from the initial letters of my name in random order. I find it catchy.
- What are your day to day activities as the Founding Director of KPT Design?
They can vary a lot. It is definitely a race against time to assist with some of the major project running, to network, to prepare documents, to plan the company’s strategy, to check the cashflow and of course to do a bit of “firefighting” when required. The most important of these all is to ensure that first-class services are delivered for our clients and partners.
The list can be really long and diverse, but I enjoy the different challenges and I am grateful that I can learn something new every day.
- Tell us about the challenges and rewards you face in your role.
The main challenge is to keep up with the speed and to ensure that the tasks are clearly set and everyone in the company has the needed resources. In the course of time I have been trying to delegate more responsibilities to the team members. The main rewards are successfully completed projects, happy clients and team members. To see buildings that we have been involved in appear around London – this is a great joy for the whole team.
- What is your leadership philosophy? How would you describe your leadership style?
I am trying to lead by example and by setting high standards for my work. I am the one to boost the team spirit. If we struggle to meet deadlines, I am happy to get involved and assist with the engineering.
- What is the most challenging project you have worked on? Why?
Actually, I have worked on many challenging projects. One of the most interesting is the tallest container building in the UK – I was the design engineer there. I have successfully completed complex temporary works and refurbishment projects and large reinforced concrete frames. I truly believe that every project should be treated with a great sense of responsibility and the size or complexity should not affect our process.
- What is your advice for those who have just started working as structural engineers?
I hope that young engineers understand their responsibility to society. I would advise them to be passionate about what they do and not be afraid to ask questions or to argue persuasively with more experienced engineers. Also, I would recommend they should always check the output of the software they use and not rely 100% on it. I follow a general principle that if something doesn’t look right it should always be checked.
- How do you see KPT Design changing over the next 5 years?
We are eager to expand the team and the knowledge base. In five years I would like to have a management team sharing the same passion for engineering and the company as I do. I am keen to set KPT Design as a trademark for quality product and to be one of the leading companies in the industry.
- Tell us more about your KPT Design`s carbon neutrality commitment.
This topic is very important for us and I think it should be important for everybody. We are trying to be in line with the recommendations well before the deadlines set by the government. It is important that the design teams have the correct approach during the process and don’t just do it as a “box ticking exercise”.
- Free time. What does it mean to you?
I think it is essential that you spend time relaxing and getting yourself out of the corporate environment. I try to do as many sports activities as I can. Gym sessions in the lunchbreaks, playing basketball or skiing help me switch off and be more focused when necessary.
I am a very social person, so I like spending time with my family and friends. A cozy evening at home with my partner is always time well spent.