Sam Dapling

Sam Dapling

Why did you choose to study Civil and Structural Engineering at Leeds?

From a young age I have been interested in pursuing a career in construction, therefore studying civil engineering at university was definitely the best path for me. It is a degree that allows me to use my skills of mathematics and mechanics in practical situations as well as providing me with promising career opportunities for the future. On the open day, the friendly staff and high quality lab facilities really influenced my decision. The variety of projects and good links to industry within the course made Leeds the clear choice.

What’s the best aspect of your course?

I have thoroughly enjoyed a number of aspects during level one. The practical element is something I’ve particularly enjoyed including the timber truss project which involved four stages of design, construction, testing and analyse. Utilising various lab facilities in the properties of the materials module has aidedmy understanding of the lecture content. Moreover, learning new and more complex computer programmes such as Revit and Matlab has been both challenging and interesting. Finally, learning how a number of scientific and mathematical principles are applied into the construction industry has given me a good insight into a career in civil engineering.

Tell us about some projects you’ve undertaken during your course?

During the course, I have undertaken a number of interesting group projects in various modules including architecture, environment and the IDP (Independent Design Project). The timber truss for the IDP was particularly good due to the hands-on construction and testing processes rather than just written content. However, the largest project for IDP was definitely the most challenging and beneficial of all the projects. This involved converting the Harrogate to York railway to a twin track electrified line. This initially involved research and analysis into the best option for the route by analysing the various economic, social, technical and environmental issues. The final report included introducing mitigation measures to reduce negative impacts and re-design the track and structures along the route to accommodate the new trains.

Tell us about your role in the Civil Engineering Society at Leeds?

I am one of two sports secretary’s within the civil engineering society. My role is to, along with the captains, organise the rugby, football, netball and hockey teams within civil engineering. This includes organising the intermural league registration, fixtures and training throughout the year. During fresher’s week and the beginning of the first term, I’m keen to get the first year students involved. The most important event of the year is varsity where each team competes against the other university's civil engineering departments.

How has the Civil Engineering Society benefitted you while you have been at Leeds?

The CivSoc socials during thefirst term, including the BBQ and Otley run, allowed me to settle into university life as I got to know other students on my course. As well as this, I had a lot of fun playing for the society’s hockey team on the weekends.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Currently my goal for the future is to become a chartered civil engineer. However, this may change as I progress through the course and my interests alter, I'm definitely open to a number of professions.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer to students?

The large student population in Leeds means that as a student you experience a variety of cultures within the city and have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Leeds has a good nightlife with clubs and bars all over the city all of which are affordable for a student. One major benefit of the university is its links to a number of big cities making it easy to visit friends at other universities.

What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?

The University has good links with industry which means there are many opportunities for industrial placements and graduate jobs. Additionally, projects and group work during the course have developed my interpersonal and technical skills which are required to be a civil engineer. Joining other societies such as snow riders has made me a much more rounded, employable person.

What advice would you have for any prospective students?

Civil and Structural Engineering is a very interesting and challenging course. It is therefore very important to stay organised, focused and well organised so that you can easily cope with the change from A-level. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, the most important thing is using the feedback given by lecturers to improve your next piece of work. Aside from your studies, you should definitely make time to relax and enjoy other societies the university has to offer.