George Marling writes:
My eight week summer engineering placement has been a great experience.
During my time with VGC I was involved with multiple departments and was given a variety of responsibilities. This has greatly enhanced my engineering knowledge of rail projects and how the construction industry functions. Working within a site office environment with visits to site on an almost weekly basis was fantastic. This allowed me to visualise how plans and drawings transfer to real, physical processes.
The site visits I went on were great, and gave me the opportunity to write up my own rail site inspection report.
Other activities and duties I was involved with were:
- Task brief, permit to dig filing
- Network Rail ITP (inspection and test plan) meeting and updating ITP register and ITP amendments
- First Aid course
- Early warning notice and CRA spreadsheet and filing work
- Client meetings – Shenfield
- Looking at bar scheduling for retaining wall design drawings
- Cube test register updating
- Weekend possession debrief spreadsheet updating
My site visits were:
- Nags Head visit – principle supply point (PSP) area
- Site visit with Michael Cooper, section engineer – Shenfield Hack sidings (LOC base surveying)
- Went to see the retaining wall foundation pour with Shane Jupp, senior COSS, and to Officers Meadows to carry out a rail site inspection report
- Site visit with engineer Aasim Khan to Shenfield Middle sidings
- Aasim also showed me round the Gidea Park site
- Site visit with James Piercy, key influencer and senior COSS, to Harold Wood
- Andrew Bellamy (Costain) showed me the Ingrave Road site; and I looked over the Ingrave Road safety staircase construction with COSS Lee Brookstein.
The things I really enjoyed about this experience were the site visits and being involved in engineering work. This is very useful for my university studies as it shows me how things are done in the real world.
The thing I didn’t enjoy was a lot of the filing and spreadsheet work. Although it is critically important, it was tedious. I understand that it had to be done and that it was good for me to get used to the system and learn how things are recorded.
I would like to thank Jacques and Mike for the opportunity of working with VGC. It has been a great experience for me and has improved my knowledge of the rail engineering sector massively.
I would also like to thank Michelle, Hayley, Bobby, Carlos, Aasim and Michael for looking after me throughout these eight weeks. The VGC staff were always so friendly and more than happy to answer any question I might have. They really made my placement enjoyable.
George is in his third year at Leeds University studying civil and structural engineering.