Interview: Student Structural Engineer – Harry McNish

Meaningful Learning Opportunities:
Rather than mundane tasks, I was immersed in projects that challenged me to think critically and problem-solve effectively. It was a hands-on experience that deepened my understanding of structural engineering, allowing me to develop essential technical and problem-solving skills. I was entrusted with a plethora of structural design checks for various live projects, including but not limited to shaft design, steel and reinforced concrete beam and column analysis, masonry wall checks, foundation design, wind load calculations and structural surveys.

Exploring the Full Spectrum:
My internship went beyond the engineering aspects. I had the chance to delve into the financial and marketing sides of a structural engineering consultancy. This well-rounded exposure provided valuable insights into the holistic nature of the engineering business, and I was able to familiarize myself with new tools like Xero and Workflow Max.

Diverse Project Portfolio:

From collaborating on projects for the NHS to working with major gas network supplier Cadent and various housing associations, I encountered a diverse range of clients and project types. Each project presented unique challenges and opportunities for growth.

Mentorship and Support:

The guidance from senior engineers and the camaraderie among colleagues created a supportive environment where questions were encouraged, and knowledge sharing thrived. This tight-knit culture accelerated my adaptation to the fast-paced industry.

Industry vs. University:

Transitioning from academia to industry was eye-opening. While university focused on acquiring technical knowledge, the industry demanded the practical application of that knowledge. The pressure and responsibility are on another level, with real infrastructure relying on your calculations and engineering judgment.

Balancing Act:

In industry, it’s essential to strike a balance between meeting client expectations and delivering practical solutions to contractors. Juggling conservative calculations for safety versus efficient design for sustainability are crucial, but it’s also about effective communication and collaboration.

Structural Engineering’s Vital Role:

Structural engineering forms the backbone of civil engineering, impacting every aspect of our built environment. Whether designing intricate structures, contributing to urban planning, promoting sustainability, or engaging with the community, structural engineers play a pivotal role in creating better places to live, work, and thrive.

Joining LSY Engineering Consultant Ltd has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s been a challenging, exciting, and deeply fulfilling journey that has broadened my perspective on structural engineering and set the stage for a promising career ahead.

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