During my third year I was on placement with J. Reddington. It was a great experience that offered me an overview of what happens during a construction project and how to find solutions when things don't go as planned.
More about Madalin-Cristian
What made you choose to study at NTU?
The fact that NTU has tight connections throughout the industry and the fact that the course was orientated towards my future employability. For example, using real-life scenarios where I would have to use the knowledge gained to solve the task at hand, just like what will happen after I graduate and become an engineer.
Have you been involved in any live projects or exciting briefs on your course?
During my third year of study we had been assigned a group project called ‘Reducing the Environmental Impact of a Combined Sewer Overflow’, in which we worked with two big engineering companies: North Midlands Construction (Nomenca) and Severn Trent Water. One employee from each company, along with two NTU lecturers set the brief and offered group meetings every week where we could discuss our ideas and receive feedback from both an academic and industry point of view. In the end we had to produce a 15-minute presentation and deliver it in front our fellow students and industry partners.
Have you been involved in any industry competitions as part of your course?
I was involved in Engineers Without Borders during my second year of study, which focused on the infrastructure development of Lobitos, a small town in northern Peru. As a group, we had to come up with a solution to bring potable water to the inhabitants and future tourists.
Have you had any speakers or lecturers from industry during your studies?
One of the most interesting guest lectures was on the topic of Laser Scanning and Building Information Modelling (BIM), delivered by Thomas Leroy and Fran Parking from successful construction company Plowman Craven. They shared their personal experience from real-life projects, discussed the latest technologies that they use and where the industry is headed.
Have you been on any trips with your course?
There have been quite a few trips organised with my course but I believe that the most useful one was the one that took place on my first year of study. We went to Castle Head, Grangeover-Sands in Cumbria on a surveying field trip. For one week we undertook several surveying practicals using professional equipment.
Our lecturers worked closely with us to help overcome the issues we faced. It was particularly useful to experience a surveying engineer career and helped me decide whether it’s what I want to do in the future.
Have you completed any work placements on your course?
During my third year I was on a placement with J. Reddington, a ground works and concrete frame specialist company in North London with projects across London and Manchester. Working as Design Engineer, I was involved in designing temporary works in both 2D and 3D, planning sequences and 4D simulations. I also prepared tender presentations to be delivered to clients. It was a great experience that offered me an overview of what happens during a construction project and how to find solutions when things don't go as planned.
Did you get support from the NTU Employability Team when sourcing your placement?
I received huge support from the NTU Employability Team. From helping me write my CV to finding the company that's right for me. They were with me every step of the way and offered me all the support that I needed.
What do you think of the facilities available to you at NTU?
The workshops and practicals always had the required equipment and we used what is currently industry-standard. The computers in Maudslay have always been great when we were required to do CAD and design work and were smoothly running the latest software available. Also, the fact that the library is open 24/7 was a life-saver in a few instances.
Tell us a bit about the staff on your course – how do they support your learning and University experience?
The lecturers use their real-life skills acquired in the industry to explain us how everything is relevant to our future career. They have always been approachable and great in delivering the feedback, identifying how we can improve.
Do you feel that there is a student community in your School?
There is a great student community not only in my School, but around the whole University. Nottingham Trent Students' Union (NTSU) is great in offering opportunities to go and meet people, either by visiting the Global Lounge or by joining the societies on offer. You just need to have a little courage to get out of your comfort zone and you will meet fantastic people.
What do you like about studying and living in Nottingham?
It would have to be the fact that it’s a student city. Having students from all around the world makes you feel that you're not alone and everybody is feeling exactly what you're going through. Also, I would have to say that I love all the beautiful parks around Nottingham such as the Arboretum and Wollaton Park.
What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking about studying your course?
I believe that starting your career with the right mindset is one of the key elements of each person's future. Here at NTU, this mindset is created and nurtured by all the practical elements incorporated into the course. From surveying the fields in Castle Park to calling suppliers that might provide you with some crucial information for your project. NTU gave me the chance to experience the industry before being thrown into the ‘big bad world’ and helped me develop the right mindset of a future engineer.
What do you hope to achieve after completing your degree?
The short answer would be: my best. After I complete my degree I will start working here in the UK and I will prepare my portfolio towards becoming a Chartered Civil Engineer. I want to push myself as hard as I can and see how far I can reach.