Interview: Student Structural Engineer – Ibrahim Shah

Ibrahim Shah, a dynamic and ambitious individual from the small island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, is a 22-year-old pursuing his passion for Civil Engineering. His journey began with a remarkable accomplishment when he successfully completed a diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from City and Guilds London, while simultaneously tackling his A-level Cambridge Examination. He mentioned “It’s a matter of perseverance, determination and a bit of luck – being at the right place at the right time and knowing your purpose in life.” Now he is aiming to complete his bachelor’s in civil engineering by 2024 at Brunel University. Ibrahim is currently on a placement year, honing his skills and knowledge in the industry thanks firstly to a summer internship at LSY Engineering Consultants Ltd.

Ibrahim’s commitment was demonstrated during his tenure at LSY, where he embarked on a 3-month placement as a design engineer intern. He was entrusted with a diverse array of responsibilities. His expertise in design calculations extended to both superstructures and substructures, covering permanent and temporary works alike. From shaft design excavations, foundations and towering high-rise buildings, Ibrahim was eager to expand his knowledge.

Ibrahim was also involved in multiple studies, notably on rotational and lateral deflection of structures due to bi-axial bending and embedded steel connections. Modelling elements on Tekla Tedds software, he cross-checked his hand design calculations to ensure absolute precision. Additionally, Ibrahim employed Groundforce analysis software, employing its capabilities to provide foolproof bracing systems for excavations like trenches, shafts, and boxes. Finally, Ibrahim demonstrated his adaptability through precise timber and masonry calculations.

Guiding Ibrahim’s growth and development was the director of LSY, Sean Young, a chartered engineer from the Institution of Structural Engineers. Sean’s vast experience and unwavering passion for engineering served as a beacon to Ibrahim. Under his mentorship, Ibrahim aspired to pursue his chartership and was encouraged to meticulously document and submit his work at LSY as part of the process.

The LSY office fostered a thriving and supportive work environment. Ibrahim collaborated with colleagues who brought diverse skills and expertise to the table: Bharvi excelled in digital modelling (BIM), Shirley served as a brilliant graduate engineer always available to take questions, and Patrick, with over four decades of industry experience, brought wisdom and insights to the team. During this time, the office also hosted a group of enthusiastic placement students like Harry, Victor, and Marco, who shared Ibrahim’s journey.

One of Ibrahim’s most memorable experiences at LSY was when he was entrusted with surveying his first project on-site without supervision. Ibrahim’s confidence and expertise, his continuous improvement and deeper understanding of the industry allowed him to embark on this solo site visit from London to Cardiff, Wales. This crucial assignment involved delivering a design for a shopfront glazing project. His efforts were met with appreciation and approval from the esteemed check engineers.

The transformative 3-month summer internship at LSY Engineering Consultants holds immense potential for Ibrahim’s future career in Civil Engineering. The exposure to a myriad of projects and utilisation of several industry standard software has fortified his technical skills. His hands-on experience in diverse facets of structural engineering, ranging from intricate calculations to site visits, has provided him exceptional experience.

With the guidance of Sean Young, Ibrahim’s ambitions of achieving chartership are well within reach. The collaborative and supportive atmosphere at LSY has nurtured his growth and solidified his passion for the field. His profound understanding of complex engineering concepts, coupled with real-world experience, will undoubtedly pave the way for a remarkable career in Civil Engineering. The journey of Ibrahim Shah promises to be one filled with achievements and groundbreaking innovations in the world of engineering.

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