AWD work in partnership with local colleges and universities to offer work experience to students, giving them vital hands-on experience for entering the engineering workforce upon graduation. Recently, UWS prize-winning student Chris Boyce enjoyed an extended placement with us. Below, Chris reflects on his time with AWD:
“After a chance meeting with AWD Managing Director Malachy Ryan in March 2016, I was offered a summer work experience placement. I was in between third and fourth year of my BEng Civil Engineering degree and had been awarded a prize from the IStructE for my structural design work at university, so I was keen to test what I had already learned at university by attaining practical experience in a design consultancy.
Having originally studied languages at university, I then went on to have a career in retail and then finance, so although I was already experienced in the work place, I was a complete engineering novice. Nonetheless, I was warmly welcomed in to the office by all of the team.
From day one I was making a contribution, working on live projects and producing work that would be issued to clients. I quickly learned that there is a lot of variety within the field of temporary works design and no two projects are ever the same.
Throughout my time at AWD I have been exposed to many different challenges and the patience and helpful attitude of all the team members meant that although the work was taxing at times, there was always someone I could ask for help and advice.
There is a collaborative ethos at AWD and in the wider temporary works industry. As it is a niche area of civil engineering, people tend to go out of their way to help you and share their experience in any way they can.
When my summer placement was extended to working throughout my honours year, my dissertation project on ‘The Management of Temporary Works on Civil Engineering Projects’ benefitted from the help of Malachy and the rest of the team, as well as other professionals working in the industry.
AWD is a well-run company where everyone is aware of what their responsibilities are. Having worked in large organisations previously, I could see that the level of responsibility that team members have at AWD encourages everyone to take ownership of projects and produce their best work. The team are young, hard-working and dynamic and due to the scale of the company, everyone involved makes a valuable contribution to its success. All team members participate in weekly meetings to discuss the progress of the work that is required for the week ahead and beyond and this promotes an inclusive spirit.
Team building events are held regularly, giving everyone a chance to get away from the office and have fun and feel rewarded for all the hard work that they put in to making AWD an award-winning consultancy.
My work at AWD over the past year has increased my knowledge of the industry and reaffirmed my desire to have a career as a structural engineer. Seeing how the team approach complicated design problems has helped me to develop my own engineering problem solving skills.
The experience I gained from working at AWD has been a great help to me as I complete my MSc Civil Engineering degree, and I can start off my career as an engineer from a sound foundation.”
Get in touch to start your work experience journey with AWD.