Projects and extra-curricular activities
Find out what some of our students are doing both in and out of the lecture theatre:
As a Civil Engineering (or Civil Engineering with Architecture) student you will take part in the ‘Interact’ project. This is an inter-university project which is carried out in conjunction with architecture students from the Glasgow School of Art, and quantity surveying students from Glasgow Caledonian University. It provides a unique multidisciplinary and multi-university student team learning experience. Here Civil Engineering with Architecture student Laura McInnes, talks about her experience of the project:
The 6 week interdisciplinary Interact competition was probably the most intense, challenging and enjoyable 6 weeks I have spent at university. In teams of 2 or 3 the idea was to collaboratively improve on a design envisioned by an architecture student at the Mac (Glasgow School of Art). Working as part of a design team gave me the opportunity to see what it would be like to work on real world projects.
The whole Interact process could be called real life in miniature. I found it incredibly rewarding to work as part of a team to create a fully realised building. It was amazing to see how the Architects’ beautiful concept, with my help as an engineer, could be turned into a real life building. I found Interact to be tough at times, working as part of a team isn’t always easy, but I was incredibly proud of the end result. The skills I have learned and the work I produced through Interact were incredibly relevant when it came time to looking for summer internships. As this project is incredibly unusual, no other universities run such a large scale interdisciplinary design project, employers loved talking about what I had learned from Interact.
London Structures Trip
Each year around 30 Civil and Civil Engineering with Architecture students take part in the London Structures trip, as Patrick Wemyss explains:
“The London trip was eagerly anticipated, and it was with nervous excitement that we all met (very early!) on a fine spring day at Glasgow Airport. The weather was set to be glorious, and there was a real holiday atmosphere as we waited on our flight. Two hours later we were in central London and the excitement was even greater.
We started day one off with a student led discussion of the NatWest building, Lloyds of London and the Gherkin. The class had previously been split into 6 groups, with each group having been assigned a building or structure to research and prepare a presentation for. This was really interesting as there are some hugely iconic structures in London and getting the opportunity to lead discussion on them, whilst standing in their shadow, was amazing. These talks focussed mainly on structural form, load paths, design, construction, materials and connections - all important aspects of the degree programme. We also had log books to fill out during our time in the city, sketching interesting and relevant details. After this first student presentation we then toured through the financial district down to London Tower, passing by the awe inspiring Cheese Grater and Walkie Talkie buildings.
From Tower Pier we hopped on a ferry and made our way down to the Cutty Sark Exhibition (after a quick pit stop for lunch), which is an extraordinary display of a unique engineering solution (for anyone who hasn't been, they have suspended a huge and historically important artefact in mid-air!) There was a talk on the project by one of the engineers who was involved, which was a great chance to ask questions and gain an insight into what it's actually like to work in civil engineering.
After this we jumped on another ferry and continued down stream to the Emirates Airline - a 90m high cable car route over the Thames. Here we had the second student led discussion. Again, this is a really unique project, involving all disciplines of designing, planning and actually constructing a spearhead project.
It was then back up the river, to the famous Canary Wharf business district. Where the third student led discussion took place on 1 Canada Square. There was a lot to discuss here, with some really technical facts and figures illustrating the need for well trained engineers for the future, such as ourselves!
The formal part of day one ended with another ferry ride up to Embankment Pier and a walk through the more touristy areas of Westminster, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park. We also passed by 1 Great George St - the Institution of Civil Engineers. This was a great way to relax after a busy day and take some snaps that people other than engineers might be interested in! We then had the evening to do as we pleased.
Day two started early, but with another packed day ahead everyone was excited to get going. We got the tube from near the hotel down town, where we walked the short distance to the headquarters of WSP, the main structural engineers for the Shard building. We got an amazing presentation by the lead structural engineer, who then walked with us down to the building itself, via the [in]famous Millennium Bridge. This was a great opportunity to have an informal talk with someone very high up in the profession and he was very happy to answer all our queries. The 308m tall Shard itself was amazing, and we got the chance to go all the way up to the viewing platform, with London stretching out below us in all directions to the horizon and beyond.
We then had a quick break for lunch, with most of the class opting to sample the culinary delights of the Borough Market. After this we walked onto Millennium Bridge, where we were met by another professional who gave us our final industry led discussion on the structure. This was the first bridge structure we looked at, and given the publicity it's received we were all keen to learn about it, and to find out if it still wobbled (it did, but only ever so slightly!).
We then headed further up the riverside, and fired through the last 3 student led discussions on the South Bank Centre, the Hungerford Footbridges and finally the London Eye, where we had a farewell journey on the big wheel and said goodbye to the London cityscape which once more stretched beneath us.
The trip overall was an amazing experience, and everyone was blown away by the structures and the people we met. It was great to see what we have learned in class being put into practice, and it was a great bonding exercise which brought everyone closer together. There was also a nice wee competitive element thrown in to the mix, with prizes being given to the best student led discussion (voted for by the students) and the best student log book.
Highly recommended, and great value for money!"
ICE student model competition:
This annual competition was won again this year by a team of University of Glasgow students. Six teams, representing the Glasgow and West of Scotland universities took part. A team from our third year students took the top prize for the ‘Strongest and Most Economic Bridge’.
Third year Civil Engineering student; Anwar Abushaala tells us about his experience organising the event:
‘This year’s ICE Annual Students Model Making Competition saw 6 teams from universities in Glasgow and the West of Scotland competing in 3 categories: Strongest and Most Economic Bridge; Best Application of Engineering Principles; and Most Aesthetically Pleasing. One of the teams representing the University of Glasgow took home the prize of “Best Application of Engineering Principles”.
Organising the competition this year was a phenomenal experience. Months of preparation was put in to make it happen. Throughout the preparation phase, from securing sponsorship from major civil engineering firms to securing judges for the competition, communication was paramount. Not only have I improved my communication skills but my confidence has improved massively.
I have also expanded my professional network organising this competition; building relationships with engineers at many different levels including Fellows of the ICE, Chartered Engineers and Graduate Engineers. Being part of the ICE Glasgow and West of Scotland Graduates and Students Committee and organising the Model Making Competition was one of the main parts of my CV and helped me secure a summer placement with one of the largest engineering consultancies in the UK.
I got great support from the Civil Engineering Department who made organising this event so much easier for me. Our ICE Liaison Officer helped me borrow loading equipment from the department and publicise the event on campus. My classmates also helped me secure sponsors for the event.’
The Association for Women in Property: Student Award
The Women in Property Student Awards are open to second year, female students studying a built environment course. It aims to celebrate the wealth of talent, enthusiasm and ambition going into the industry from university. This year, Civil Engineering with Architecture student Laura McInnes has been nominated for the award. Here she speaks about what it means to her:
‘I was lucky enough to be chosen as the Civil Engineering candidate to enter the nationwide Women in Property competition. Since the nomination I worked with a lecturer to prepare a presentation on a piece of my own work. After which I travelled to Edinburgh to present my design to a panel of industry experts from varying construction backgrounds.
It was scary to stand up and present my work to a panel of experts but I really enjoyed the experience and it has made me more confident in my ability to speak in public. After the interview I received really positive feedback from the panel and advice on how to advance my career with tips on getting summer placements and what areas of engineering I should specialise in. I look forward to attending an awards evening on the 12th of May to find out who will be crowned the regional winner of the competition.’
Did you know that you could be eligible for a £2,500 scholarship?
Because our Civil Engineering programmes are accredited by, amongst other institutions, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) our students can apply for the ICE QUEST Undergraduate Scholarship which provides:
- Financial support of £2,500 each year
- Paid work placements every summer
- Potential full-time employment with a leading civil engineering or construction company after graduation
- Knowledge and experience that enhances your CV and give you a head start in becoming a professionally qualified civil engineer.
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