The Alumni of Constructionarium have gone on to work around the world – from Mexico and Hong Kong to Sri Lanka and Qatar. We have featured some stories below so you can see how the Constructionarium learning experience helped them.
Site Engineer, Laing O’Rourke, Hinkley Point C
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 hadn’t 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. This meant we all got exposure to the different roles available in the construction industry
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 learnt 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 am now working as a Site Engineer for Laing O’Rourke at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, a role that I am really enjoying – every day is different and there are always problems that need solving.
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.
Traffic Engineer & Transport Planner, Mott McDonald, Bahrain
Winner of the Institution of Civil Engineers Emerging Engineers Award 2018
I studied MEng Civil Engineering at Imperial College London but had never considered construction as a career until I attended Constructionarium in my second year and took on the Gherkin project. I was elected as Project Manager by my team meaning I was responsible for stakeholder management, method statements, safety concerns and ensuring the team worked well together.
I had taken part in design projects at university but once you leave the classroom and get onto a live site you realise you are responsible for other people’s safety. It really makes you understand why tasks such as checking construction methods or managing the risk register are so important.
Constructionarium gave me the opportunity to develop skills on a small scale that I still use today on a much larger scale in my role as a Traffic Engineer and Transport Planner for Mott McDonald. Having real site experience to refer back to is important as a designer and ensures my designs are practical and realistic.
I would definitely recommend Constructionarium, everyone on my course enjoyed it. It was busy and challenging and every evening was spent planning for the next day but it was amazing to see your hard work rewarded when the top of the Gherkin was lifted into place. I gained a lot of confidence from being voted into the Project Manager role and it made me see this was something I could take on in my future career.
Apprentice Project Manager, Jacobs Engineering Group
I was studying for a Level 3 Construction and the Built Environment qualification at City College Norwich when I attended Constructionarium in 2017 during the second year of my course.
Our team took on the Kingsgate Bridge project and we spent several weeks at college preparing for our visit including testing concrete mixes and learning about steel fixing. Kier were the contractors supporting our project and they visited us at college before we got on site.
Although I had been on plenty of site visits, I had no real, practical experience of construction and Constructionarium was the first time I actually worked on a site. The week I spent at Bircham Newton definitely affected my career career choices, I had previously wanted to be an architect but Constructionarium helped me realise that I prefer being part of the action and seeing projects being built rather than being stuck in an office.
I would 100% recommend Constructionarium to other students, it was a fantastic experience and really helped me when interviewing for jobs. When I was asked to talk about a time when I overcame a problem I had plenty of real life examples from Constructionarium including the time the concrete delivery arrived too wet and I had to make the decision to hold off using it until it was remixed.
I learnt so much during my Constructionarium experience, including things which I already knew in theory but were made so much more real by being on site. The importance of measuring and setting out was one of these things – a small error left our formwork a few mm’s out and some last minute ‘trimming’ was required to ensure our bridge met in the middle!
I believe my experience was one of the reasons I was successful in my application to Jacobs Engineering to become an Apprentice Project Manager, I now work on site every day and love my job.
Technical Manager – Berkeley Homes (North East London) Ltd
I studied Civil Engineering at London South Bank University and attended Constructionarium during my second year. I took on the role of Project Manager on the Pavilion project, it was a challenge to manage the team at such an early stage but it was a fun week and helped to bring to life some of the learning from university
In my final year I was able to attend Constructionarium for a second time on their temporary site based in London during the Olympic construction works. We worked on the Barcelona Tower project and my team were responsible for logistics and setting out. The skills I learnt this time were much more practical and combined with my experience from the previous year as PM and more maturity we were able to be far more successful.
Constructionarium helped me to properly understand the theory I had learnt – especially the importance of Health and Safety and the project management skills I developed have definitely helped me in my current role. It was good to see how differing Contractors work and taking on different roles gave me a broader experience and insight into what my colleagues across the wider construction industry do
I would thoroughly recommend that ALL civil engineering students attend and I think universities should include this as an essential part of their curriculum each year as the ability to try out different projects enables students to take on different roles and really adds value to the university experience.
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