Interview with Jonathan Flanders

In this month’s article we are going to give an insight into a student’s life working with LSY Engineering Consultants Ltd as a structural engineer. This article is presented by Jonathan Flanders who is a student of Newcastle University.

Going into my role I had expectations that Sean would throw me into the deep end, which I believe is the best way to learn. I knew that during my time at LSY I would be helping develop the internal systems for the company and working on live projects. Working on internal development for the company was exciting as it gives you a greater understanding to how a business functions.

My typical tasks for live projects involved completing structural design calculations including permanent and temporary works, site inspections, and liaising with clients.

The most rewarding part of the job is seeing your calculations get signed off to the client. It is a great feeling that you have designed a project which agrees with the clients needs. I also enjoyed working with others to develop internal systems that can make LSY a more efficient and successful company.

On the other hand, my least favourite part of the job is the report writing. It is a very tedious process as the report findings normally tend to be like previous projects. My excitement for working is to challenge yourself on a wide variety of tasks enabling you to learn something new each day and report writing does not always fulfil this.

Combating structural designs differs greatly compared to university. When calculating members in university you usually calculate deflections and moments via first principles whereas in the workplace you use tables to speed this process up. Working in a professional environment teaches you broader skillset that you don’t learn at university like interactions with clients and responding to emails.

Overall, I find working as a structural engineer compelling as no day is the same and the design aspect enables you to be creative.

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