Summer work experience

Recently, we were delighted to have Ollie, a Year 12 student from a local college, join us for a week of work experience. He expressed interest in civil and structural engineering, and we happily provided him with the opportunity to gain an understanding of what it is like to work in the field.

Ollie provides his insight on his week with us in this piece.

I was excited to begin my work experience week with HWA to learn all about what they do and how they do it. As a 17-year-old, I knew I wanted to get into engineering for a career but didn’t know what kind. A week at HWA helped me see that civil and structural engineering is very interesting and there are loads of pathways to go down.

On my first day, I was greeted by a friendly team of people, and I immediately felt welcomed into the office. I was set up straight away with a task that I was given to do over the week, which was going through the development process of a site up in Leeds. I was tasked with doing a write up on the site where I researched everything about it from ground geology to drainage around the site.

On my second day, I was shown how to use the software that I would use throughout my time there. From that, I was tasked with designing two models of the development and creating them in a program. Using this, I could add forces onto the model and create a model with all the correct frames made of the right material, which would be accurate in the actual development.

I then developed the design in another software program. I added things like foundations to the frames and walls and stairs to give me a look at what it would be like and how it would work if it were to become a proper development.

I also had the opportunity to visit a local site which HWA are involved in, where I learned about the history of the area, how the building was made and the changes that would be made if it were constructed now. I also learned lots about the area around it and could appreciate how understanding about the local ground that is being built on affects how the building is designed.