- Course: Civil and Structural Engineering MEng
- Nationality: British
- Job title: Graduate Civil Engineer
- Company: Tata Steel Projects
Why did you choose to study at Leeds?
I chose the University of Leeds instead of my other University options as its campus is right in the heart of the city centre, something I had been searching for. Leeds is also known for its links to industry, which was of particular importance to me.
Why did you choose to study Civil and Structural Engineering?
I knew from an early age that I would undertake a career in Civil Engineering, despite an initial interest in Architecture. I particularly enjoyed Mathematics and Physics at Sixth Form, so it was natural to choose a career in Engineering. I chose Leeds because the Civil and Structural course had a great variety of content, which I felt would give me an excellent grounding in Civil and Structural Engineering.
How has your degree helped you to find a job?
My degree helped me secure my first job prior to my completion of my fourth year of my MEng course. The course developed my understanding of engineering principles, however I feel it was the emphasis on presentation skills and how to defend my engineering decisions as the contributory factor in my success at my interview with Tata Steel Projects. Another factor was the emphasis the department put on obtaining relevant work experience and the development of a candidates CV. My work experience each summer allowed me to utilise the skills I learnt at University and vice versa and this became very useful in the interview process. The Civil Engineering department organises a construction site field course to give students a chance to put their theoretical knowledge to the test in a live construction project. The field course demonstrated my practical skills abilities at interview.
How has your degree prepared you for your job?
The broad nature of the course on offer at Leeds was demonstrated early on in my career at Tata Steel Projects. I had taken a module in Railway Engineering and it made the transition into a new work environment much easier. The Civil Engineering department at Leeds gave students a number of opportunities to work on individual and group projects that had to be developed on time and in a professional manner. These skills have been fully utilised in my work activities. Similarly, the opportunities to present to large audiences became useful in my job at Tata Steel Projects, where I regularly attend project meetings to discuss design work internally and the Client externally.
What does your job entail?
After graduation I was placed within the Infrastructure team at Tata Steel Projects in York. Initially I was seconded to the Security team to work on the Olympic Park in London prior to the games. Since my return from site I have primary worked on Rail projects such as the Thameslink programme, where I have developed the Civil Engineering designs for two significant depots. I have recently begun the design of Doncaster Station redevelopment and am working towards my professional chartership with the Institution of Civil Engineers.
What would you say to students thinking about studying the same course at Leeds/thinking about the same career?
My advice to prospective students would be to think carefully about module choice to gain a broad knowledge of the multitude of engineering disciplines. Maximise opportunities to gain practical experience and more importantly obtain relevant work experience to improve your employability after University.