Random maybe useful engineering links
Standing Committee on Structural Safety - Saftey / reports
On Wednesday 3rd July I started my first proper piece of work experience in the engineering field. I am located in the Peterborough branch of Atkins working in the Water and Wastewater division. I settled in well, my shyness seems to have disappeared over the few years at university. The people seem nice, although i am yet to get to know many of them since most choose to carry on working though lunch breaks. One thing i realise I need to continue to develop is my introduction to others, I need to make the effort to introduce myself, rather than wait for them to say hello.
Unfortunately i have not been involved in much technical work yet, since the office is seriously over worked since a key team member left. The main task i was involved in was the production of a tender for a Water Cycle Strategy. It involved editing an existing tender for a previous project, then amending the information to suit the needs of the current project specification. The task made use of my work processing skills (which it turns out are better that most of the other staff), and the ability to read, digest and interpret data.
I was introduced to some of the current projects, the Thames Gateway Desalination plant and a Sewarage Treatment works expantion on the Thames.
The Thames gateway project is the first Desalination plant in the UK, converting saltwater from the Tames estuary into drinking water, through a process called Reverse Osmosis. Hopefully I will be involved in more depth in the future.
On both projects at present i have only looked though the main technical drawings, which to my surprise were quite simple to understand. I also looked at a collegues work, who was designing/amending Reinforced concrete slabs and beams. I was surprised at how much of this work i understood from 3rd year lecture material, such as detailing and bar spacing rules.
I have just completed my 3rd year of study and have finally decided to take my lecturers advice to start a weblog of all my Engineering experiences, and any other activities that could influence my professional life.
I aim to reflect upon my experiences listing skills achieved and developed, then reflecting upon them, how I can improve in future tasks. This blog is primarily for personal development, logging thoughts, tasks, visits and experiences, mainly so I don't forget! It will also be used for perspective employers to gain an insight into my skills, development and progress. I will include a link in my CV once i get more content online.
The first reflective statement will be this: I should have been doing this from the start! Its one of those things that seems a bit pointless in first year, putting comments on the Internet, that no-one is going to read. The problem is its not really for other people, its a personal note and hopefully it will help develop my skills and personality, as well as provide an overview of my experiences and skills etc. Lecturers are rarely wrong, so you should follow their advice, they know the industry and what employers are looking for, so why not? I can see now the potential and the purpose, obviously the first year antics and "do as little work as possible to scrape a semi-decent grade" attitude were more important. To be honest, maybe they were, first year at university is about having fun, getting to know new people and yourself! Being 100% engrossed in work would have made me a dull person, its getting social and work life balanced to - hopefully- create an intelligent but interesting person.
To sum up; start being self critical early on, learn from mistakes, record interesting events that developed you as a person, work hard but have fun... and be concise!
As started at the start i have just completed my 3rd year of 4 at university, gaining a surprising, but deserved 1st class for the year. I seem like I'm boasting (well I am! its my blog, that probably no one but me will read anyway) but I worked hard for most of the year and actually understood most of the material. My coursework was consistent with the majority being 1st's and one (or two) being high 2:1's. Even through my hard work i still had a good time socialising that i achieved though making good use of my time between lectures, but i do feel i should have done more, work wise and social wise. I hope to achieve this in my final academic year. My reasoning for continuing to improve next year is that i WANT a 1st overall. The only way i can get this, due to a very low 2:1 in second year, is to get a mid 1st this coming year. I think i need 75% or more.
On Wednesday (02/07/08) i started my summer placement at Atkins in Peterborough, more on that in a later post.
My plan for next year is to start working a standard working week of 9 to 5, 5 days a week through out the year, flexi time obviously! It should fit around any lectures and other core stuff, but the time between will be used for some serious independent learning. This leaves evenings and w/e free for me to do fun stuff. Im not going to be rigid with this though, will have to fit around random lecture times and daytime social stuff, but 7 hours of learning a day should be more than enough. The learning grid and the engineering computer rooms will be my
secondary primary home next year.
Allot of my uni friends have finished completely now, and i didn't meet them as much as i would have liked, next year i will spend more time with the ones that are left, and the ones that have come back from their year out, plus others I meet along the way
Attached is my present CV. Hopefully this time next year I will have more to add. Its here to show or find out the progression i have actually made.
A reminder of what to post in the coming weeks