What attracted you to a career in engineering, and to your specific discipline?
I have always had an interest in buildings and other large structures so I decided very early on that I wanted to go into engineering. I studied Civil Engineering at the University of Sheffield, but I found the structural side far more interesting, so I decided to become a Structural Engineer.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?
During my work experience, I learned how to use four new software’s, and used them to create a 3D image of a house to be built. I also designed a house with a number of possible extensions. I visited a construction site and observed the workers discuss a construction problem. This gave me a more in-depth understanding of problems that occur during complex projects and how they can be tackled.
During my summer holidays, I undertook a work-experience placement through the Nuffield Bursary Scheme. I worked as a research assistant for Professor Michael Gunn from London South Bank University, at the Institute of Civil Engineers. My aim was to search for articles on the failure of retaining walls through the ‘ICE – minutes of the proceedings’ which contained various articles on Civil Engineering projects. From this, I have developed my research skills as well as widening my knowledge on the subject. I wrote a report on this and applied for a Gold CREST award and was successful.
What made you choose Rolton Group?
When I read the job description, I was surprised to see a company offer so much in the role for a graduate position. Rolton Group have an outstanding reputation which shows from their repeat business from blue-chip clients. They have good company values which has created positive and motivated employees. There is also an active social aspect to the job with regular sports and social events, so it’s not all about work!
Could you describe what your working day usually consists of?
My working day usually consists of carrying out calculations for various steel and concrete elements. This occasionally involves using AutoCAD and other structural engineering software. This is all done whilst liaising with the senior engineers who provide the right guidance and knowledge to complete the task. I occasionally attend meetings and site visits as well.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy working on a variety of projects, so I am never stuck doing the same thing. I also enjoy working with different people around the office, all with a varying amount of experience and learning from what they have picked up over the course of their careers.
How would you describe the working culture in your office?
The office culture here is great. We know when to have a laugh and when we need to get our heads down, be productive and meet deadlines.
Has the company lived up to your initial expectations?
Yes, and surpassed them. Rolton Group have been supportive since day one, guiding me in the right direction so I can become a successful engineer.
What training and mentoring have you been offered/undertaken with Rolton Group and how have they supported you?
I am in a fortunate position to be sponsored by Rolton Group to undertake a Structural Engineering with Management Master’s degree at Nottingham Trent University, which will help me to continue developing my career within the company and the industry. A number of other training courses have also been offered such as business development and software training, all of which have been beneficial.
How is Rolton Group helping you to achieve your goals?
Rolton Group are funding my Master’s course and have also offered a number of other beneficial and relevant courses. In addition to this, they are appointed on a wide range of projects which vary in size and scope, which ensures I am getting the right experience to continue developing as an engineer, and ultimately help me to gain Chartership.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to start their career in the engineering/built environment industry?
I would recommend studying the right degree at university and getting the right work experience to benefit you in this field.