- Course: Civil and Structural Engineering BEng
- Job title: Trainee Structural Engineer
- Company: Adept Consulting Engineers
What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?
Adept Consulting Engineers offer Civil and Structural Engineering solutions to a variety of construction projects ranging from large, steel portal-framed distribution warehouses to concrete-framed student accommodation buildings to housing development schemes.
What is your role within the company?
As Trainee Structural Engineer, my job is to assist senior engineers with structural calculations and to help offer solutions to structural problems where necessary. This usually involves devising solutions within a team environment and working together to propose the most suitable outcome.
Can you give me an insight into a typical day?
My typical day can vary a lot from week to week depending on the project I'm working on. Some days involve using software such as MasterSeries or Tedds to conduct structural design calculations, while others involve hand calculations or using Excel. Once the structural design is complete this information has to be drawn up so I either sketch out the design or mark up a drawing in AutoCad to later be completed by a structural technician.
What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?
I've been involved in a number of interesting projects. Most recently I've been working on the design for Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Polymer strengthening for a partially-built concrete framed building that was found to be insufficiently designed part-way through construction. I've enjoyed the hands on, technology-driven approach to work, developing new skills whilst reinforcing my existing knowledge in structural design.
Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?
I decided to undertake an industrial placement year because I thought it would be important to gain as much valuable experience within an industry environment before completing my degree. The experience I've gained and the skills I've developed will no-doubt benefit me as I return to university to finish my final year.
What do you think you have got out of this experience so far?
I've had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and develop my structural design experience in a number of different, real-life design situations. This exposure to real-life projects has given me a greater appreciation for the complexities of structural design and the range of knowledge required within the role of a structural engineer. As well as this, being in a working environment has taught me how to conduct myself in a professional manner.
Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?
My advice to anyone considering undertaking an industrial placement year would be to try and develop a positive working routine as early as possible. This is important to help you get the most out of your placement and learn as much as possible. As well as this, never shy away from asking questions, the more you ask the more you learn.