I was in Afghanistan in 2010 as part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand Province. I led a team of military civil engineers and technicians, managing over 80 projects at one time and running a budget of up to £80 million invested by UK and USA aid agencies. My team took projects from concept through to completion, delivering schools, roads, medical centres, police training establishments and many other types of civil infrastructure. Working with local contractors in a highly pressurised and dangerous environment honed my project management and people management skills, but I also learnt a huge amount about civil engineering when materials are scarce. Innovation and resourcefulness were key, and we had great success with a variety of projects. During my time there I was also central to drawing up plans for the improved road network for the province.