From Accounts to Acoustics

Lewis Crabtree began a new career, got married and called in at QE as part of a team of visiting experts – all in the space of a year.

Lewis (OE 1996–2003) retrained in 2013-2014 as an acoustic engineer, having previously worked in accountancy. He took up a job in the field in October 2014 and then came to QE eight months later as a designated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassador.

After leaving the School in 2003, Lewis went to Edinburgh University to study Physics with Music (which, as it happens, is a perfect fit with his new career).

Following graduation, he worked for five years at KPMG’s London office, where he was a Business Intelligence Consultant. He next worked for Ernst & Young, another of the 'Big Four' accountancy firms, for two years.

Having decided on his career switch, he studied for a one-year diploma in his spare time with the Institute of Acoustics and then began his current job with building services engineers, Max Fordham. The firm's work encompasses everything that impacts on the internal environment of a building and its performance, thus including acoustics, as well as fields such as sustainability and the physics of buildings.

Lewis's role revolves around the enhancement of sound quality inside buildings, noise and vibration control and environmental noise modelling. He is brought on board projects at an early stage and becomes part of the design team, working with the architect and other engineers and designers. They take a whole-project approach and have an emphasis on sustainability. He has worked in private and public spaces, such as galleries, museums, theatres, cinemas and schools.

Max Fordham encourages its employees to engage in outreach work, hence Lewis's involvement with STEM. He came to the School under the auspices of the STEM Network, which was established to encourage pupils to consider a future in technical fields. During his visit, he took Year 8 boys through the complexities of designing and building schools and concert halls. This linked to part of the curriculum they had recently been studying.

In the same month, he married Winnie in a small family ceremony in Wandsworth, London.