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Industry collaboration with nmcn and Severn Trent Water benefits final year civil engineers

BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering students recently took part in an applied project, designed collaboratively between NTU, nmcn and Severn Trent Water, which challenged them to develop proposals based on a real-life development as part of their final year Group Design Project module.

Screenshot of student work
A section of the proposal produced by the winning group including final year students Scott Billison, Dennis Barnie, Gursimrat Basran, Wyrner Carneiro, Rubichanel Acquaye, Callum Clark, Venkata Thanush Chalumuri and Ozay Aydos

Based on the real-life nmcn development at York House in Nottingham, the brief asked students to calculate the foul and surface water contributions of the new building when occupied, evaluate the impact this would have on existing sewer system, and devise engineering solutions to tackle the resulting network incapacities.

nmcn engineers Will Hooper, Ben Wright and Russell Cartwright, and Alex Marsters and Tom Walker from Severn Trent Water, introduced students to the project at the beginning of the semester and supported them throughout via consultation sessions, presentations and reviewing final outcomes.

Acting as ‘the client’ in the project scenario, the Severn Trent engineers guided students on the theory of sewer networks, hydraulic models and calculation of flows from the York House development. nmcn colleagues provided input from both design and build perspectives, sharing in-depth reviews of solution types, construction techniques, temporary works and stakeholder management.

Tasked with considering a holistic approach to the work – as is required in industry – the team encouraged students to evaluate the effectiveness of their proposals, the commercial viability of the final design and the impact on the wider community. The module culminated in a final presentation, where each student group presented their proposals to the panel, after which the winning group was awarded the contract for the fictional sewer system capacity upgrades.

Reflecting on the project, Scott Billison, a member of the winning group, said: “The project gave me a useful insight into real-world industry problems and the challenges faced in inner-city construction. It was a nice touch that the project was based locally, with the site visits and local knowledge adding a different aspect to the work. Overall an enjoyable task to work on, and it was very satisfying to know that our solution was viable!”

Group mate Dennis Barnie added: “The project was a great success, the bridge between industry and academia was a fantastic opportunity to apply learnt knowledge, research and teamwork. The guys from nmcn and Severn Trent Water offered expert advice to enhance our project. More collaborative work between industry and academia will do the industry a world of good.”

Gursimrat Basran also shared: “I really enjoyed the project, being able to apply the standard of industry work I experienced during placement to something new and challenging, I came to realise that there are direct and indirect stakeholders involved and our key to project success became more than just satisfying them but providing a positive benefit.”

Module leader Dr. Paul Beetham said: “nmcn and Severn Trent Water support means that we can set the students a project task related to an ongoing problem close to where they live in Nottingham. This means the students can visualise the project challenges, not just with providing a technical solution, but managing the many project stakeholders and constraints that come with construction work in a busy inner-city environment. This results in high engagement from the students and they respond fantastically with innovative and well thought out solutions.

“The industry partners support us throughout with help identifying the site, writing the brief and then providing students with feedback in consultation and assessments. NTU are very grateful to have had such excellent and unwavering support for the past five years; it really does help prepare our students for graduate roles.”

This is the fifth year in a row our students have benefitted from nmcn and Severn Trent Water’s support and is another example of the value of the School’s high-quality industry partnerships.

Industry collaboration with nmcn and Severn Trent Water benefits final year civil engineers

Published on 15 March 2021
  • Subject area: Architecture and civil engineering
  • Category: Current students; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

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