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As Business Unit Lead of EDC, Jack’s role has shifted away from project management and taken a higher level focus on the business as a whole. 

From Kenya to Berlin: Jack Darmstadt’s rise to BU Lead

Author: Cormac Byrne  /  20th May, 2022  /  News, Insights

Kenya, Malwai, Jordan, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, France, the UK. The list of places where Jack Darmstadt has lived and worked is nothing short of impressive. It’s even more so upon learning he’s just 30 years old. Currently settled in Amsterdam, Jack’s most recent achievement has seen him appointed Business Unit Lead within Mercury’s Enterprise Data Centres Division.

From growing up in Kenya to schooling in the UK, a career in engineering was always on Jack’s radar. “My father works in third world development and project management – schools, houses, upgrading hospitals. It was always around as I was growing up and stayed with me,” Jack recalled. Visiting the slums in Kenya gave him an unadulterated understanding of the need for civil engineering in developing countries. He’s spent time volunteering in Malawi and completed a project building pipelines in Jordan too.

Prior to joining Mercury four years ago, Jack occupied a number of posts in Frankfurt, designing and project managing data centre projects. A hunger for the next new challenge saw him begin to explore his options. Asked what drew him to Mercury, Jack replies, “They drive the young, intelligent, enthusiastic people in the business. If you’re capable, you’re capable. Age doesn’t really matter.” Although Jack had little experience on the contracting side at the start of his role, he found great support in those around him, “The advice and support offered by senior members of management was above and beyond. It was a massive help at the start.”

This tight knit support network sets Mercury apart in the industry and the company is determined to maintain this as it continues to grow. With a workforce now more than 4,500 strong delivering an increasing number of projects across Europe and beyond, Mercury has made the strategic decision to restructure its organisation into eight clearly defined Business Units.

Restructuring serves to maximise performance across the business, with each Business Unit having its own dedicated Management Team. “We’re working away from Head Office so there needs to be an increased level of senior and executive management dispersed throughout the divisions of Mercury abroad. It’s important that we work to instill our company culture in our European ventures so that it isn’t solely based in Ireland,” Jack says.

In just four years, Jack has experienced Mercury’s growth firsthand. For his first project with the Company, Jack was project manager on a five phase, 32MW facility in Amsterdam. Soon after, Jack and his team traveled to Munich and Berlin where they completed another set of projects, all the while planning and organising upcoming projects in Warsaw and Paris.

In just four years, Jack has experienced Mercury’s growth firsthand.

Jack highlights the dynamic nature of EDC, and why restructuring benefits his team in particular. “It gives us the opportunity to direct our focus to the job at hand. Our clients’ requirements are changing on a day-to-day basis. The engineering technologies they’re trying to employ are being pushed. The challenge is to satisfy not only the needs of our client, but their end client as well. Securing an end user is often contingent on certain design-related changes. We must manage those as they arise,” Jack explains. He leverages Mercury’s leading edge BIM capabilities in order to carry out feasibility studies and manage client expectations around timeline and cost.

As Business Unit Lead, Jack’s role has shifted away from project management and taken a higher level focus on the business as a whole. He says the best part of his role is the versatility. “The learning that comes on a day-to-day basis is second to none. You don’t get that anywhere else. Once you’re willing to experience unfamiliar situations, what you can learn is never-ending,” he explains. Jack’s responsibilities include acquiring new business, developing existing client relationships and building his team. “We’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. We need to find the right people to join our team and help make that happen,” Jack says.

With three construction teams under his remit, an ongoing boom in the construction of data centres, and an increasing number of complex projects being delivered at once, it’s no small feat finding the right people for the job. “I don’t give up. I’m in it until the end,” Jack calls out as his biggest strength. He strives to surround himself with like minded individuals, describing his team as young and energetic with the confidence to take on new challenges.

Much like the path his own career has taken, Jack believes there is a promising future for those around him. “I’ve got a great team around me. I’d like to see them move through the ranks as quickly as I have. Only through them can we develop effectively together.”

Mercury is Europe’s most experienced Enterprise Data Centre service provider.

Jack describes his management style as non-hierarchical. “It’s about putting trust in people, empowering them to carry out their roles. Ensuring everyone is informed and reinforcing the message that we’re all on one team.” He mentions his friends and colleagues who are running other Business Units and explains that they have an open line of communication with one another. “We’re not afraid to ask each other for help. There’s no shyness to learn from each other.”

He notes that his Business Unit takes a collaborative approach to project execution and delivery, particularly with regard to the subcontracting trade. “We’re less contractual and more relationship based. It’s about finding solutions to the issues we face together,” Jack describes. He says that building up this trust is invaluable, and the next job will always reap the benefits.

When asked what impact his Business Unit can have on Mercury as a whole, Jack says, “We put everything into what we’re doing. We bring calmness and control to every project, putting clients at ease.” Indeed, in an industry accelerating so rapidly, there’s no underestimating the difference this can make.

Enterprise Data Centres

Mercury is Europe’s most experienced Enterprise Data Centre service provider. We go beyond to meet the challenges of the ever-growing Enterprise market. Over the last 20 years our highly skilled global teams have successfully delivered data centres for some of the world’s largest data centre companies. Our cutting-edge construction methods mean we consistently deliver highly complex and specialised turnkey services. We design, build, plan, construct and commission data centres using the highest levels of safety, quality and delivery. We then manage the maintenance of facilities post-construction.

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