Tom Howard

Tom Howard

Currently in his Master’s year, Tom chose the University of Leeds as, at the time of application, it was the only UK university to offer a project management speciality as part of the integrated Master’s programme. Having visited on one of the undergraduate Open Days, he also liked how close the university campus was to Leeds city centre.

Real engineering problems

His course highlight to date has been the Integrated Design projects, or IDP for short. Working in teams of eight, you’re given a real engineering problem which you then work to solve using theory gained from course modules.

Regarding one particular assignment, Tom relates that “My favourite university project so far was on the Environmental Health in Developing Countries module. The brief was to rebuild a small town in Honduras after an earthquake. This was a particularly eye-opening module as I hadn’t previously considered the constraints of working in a less developed country.”

My favourite university project so far was on the Environmental Health in Developing Countries module. The brief was to rebuild a small town in Honduras after an earthquake.

Tom Howard, MEng Civil Engineering with Project Management (Industry)

Tom highlights that studying Civil Engineering at Leeds is about more than just maths, and that he’s learnt a variety of skills so far including CAD, Modelling, Design, Materials and Management.

HS2 opportunity

During his studies, Tom has made the most of hands-on engineering opportunities, including two summer placements. He found that these especially had a beneficial impact on his university coursework, as they gave him a real insight into how engineering projects are managed.

He also carried out a year in industry from July 2021 – July 2022, working as a site engineer for Balfour-Beatty-Vinci (BBV) to deliver HS2 in Birmingham, and was surprised and pleased by how much responsibility he was given as a student.

“On the placement with BBV, I automated a paper-based permit system to a paperless digital system. As a result of the system’s success, I was headhunted by the construction tech firm Site Assist. Site Assist are using site management software to make construction projects paperless.”

As a result of the system’s success, I was headhunted by the construction tech firm Site Assist.

Tom Howard

Tom is also working part time for Site Assist as a consultant during his Master’s year and will be returning to HS2 for two weeks over Christmas to help slide a 40000T box structure over the four lane M42.

Tom Howard HS2

 

Outside of studies

Tom found the concept of joining university societies a little daunting when he first started at Leeds, but the Fresher’s Fair and society ‘Go-tos’ helped him out with this aspect of university life. He’s currently a member of the university Swimming and Water Polo team, which he joined in first-year.

“I enjoy the training and the Wednesday social events. I have been on two sports tours to Croatia with LUUSWP which has been the highlight of my university experience.”

I have been on two sports tours to Croatia with LUUSWP which has been the highlight of my university experience.

Tom Howard

Importance of Industry Experience

For students considering studying Civil Engineering at Leeds, Tom recommends getting industry experience under your belt while you’re here, advising that “Industry experience both in a design office and on site are so important and beneficial for your career. Working over summer for a company really helps you stand out on your CV, making you much more employable.” 

Industry experience both in a design office and on site are so important and beneficial for your career.

Tom Howard

Ultimately, the experiences and opportunities that Tom has been involved with while studying have really helped him to shape an idea of where and what he wants to work in once he’s graduated.

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