Site Engineer, Gilbert Ash
I studied Engineering at Cambridge University and attended Constructionarium in my third year. I had taken part in design projects at university but before Constructionarium I didn’t have much practical experience and I had never considered a career in the construction industry. Our team were allocated the Kingsgate Bridge project and we rotated the key roles so that everyone got their turn being Project Manager or Steel Fixer.
Our project was a success – if anything I had expected more things to go wrong! We had to be very accurate in the setting out of the steel supports but we put a lot of work into the preparation and planning and it was fantastic to be able to apply the technical knowledge I had gained at university to practical tasks on site.
While I was on site I realised that construction would actually be a great fit for me career-wise: I have always enjoyed a challenge and being outside and getting involved in what was happening suited me better than sitting behind a desk. During the project we were supported and mentored by industry professionals from Laing O’Rourke and at the end of the week I was actually invited to interview for a graduate role with them. I went on to work as a Site Engineer at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station for two years. I have recently moved to Gilbert Ash which has been great for the development of my early career. In contrast to the megaproject at Hinkley, I am now the main engineer on a £30m site. This has given me a very large range of skills for a young engineer.
I would definitely recommend attending Constructionarium as it really opens your eyes to the breadth of roles available and as well as the practical experience it gives you great exposure to the industry and the chance to demonstrate your skills to potential employers.