When I began my Civil engineering degree, I noticed that the syllabus was very theory focused and I was intrigued by how this was then applied to real-world scenarios. So I began looking for a summer placement where I could experience putting the theories into practice. Searching for a placement with only studying at university for one year proved to be rather difficult with many companies declining my applications but it was worthwhile. I strongly encourage others to gain some experience before graduating because I believe there is a gap between the theory learnt at university to working in the industry.
My initial impression of the placement was how diverse the role was, it requires various different tasks unique for every project. At LSY there was a broad range of different projects which included structural surveying, BIM modelling and temporary and permanent works. Every day had different challenges and no two days were the same.
My predominant tasks in projects consisted of structural calculations, site inspections and surveys. In addition to working on different projects, there were also many other aspects to my role which consisted of marketing, adding to the design library, creating manuals and developing a book to help with the IStructE chartership exam. Throughout my time with LSY I learnt many new skills and participated in a variety of different tasks which I don't think could have been achieved in a larger-sized company.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the job is continuously learning and further developing a problem-solving mindset as there are so many different aspects to being a structural engineer. This means you are always becoming more efficient and more creative with your solutions which is required to continuously develop and improve the construction industry
This valuable experience made me aware of the number of individuals and skills that are required to complete a successful project. This insight provided me with the opportunity to see projects from their architectural design through to the completion for structural design projects. Each project posed unique challenges requiring the use of varying materials to meet client requirements.