Having the influence and guidance of industry really helped and in the end our group was chosen to have produced the best scheme.
More about Chris
Placement company: VolkerFitzpatrick Rail
What do you enjoy most about your course at NTU?
“I like how theoretical knowledge is applied practically. It provides a better understanding on what has been learnt in the classroom.
“Generally lecturers are passionate about what they’re teaching and are willing to help whether it’s to do with the course or personal life. The technical staff are knowledgeable and supportive and aid the practical side to the course.
Have you been involved in any live projects or briefs on your course?
“In the first term of final year we were set a flood alleviation project by North Midland Construction. It was enjoyable as it was treated like an actual construction project with weekly meetings and undergoing formal proceedings. Having the influence and guidance of industry really helped and in the end our group was chosen to have produced the best scheme.
How did you spend your placement year?
“I was working for VolkerFitzpatrick Rail at a new train station being built in Cambridge. Initially I was mainly setting out and utilising surveying techniques learnt from university. After a few months I was getting more involved in the production of health and safety documentation as well as as-built surveys. After 6 months on site I was given my own section of works to manage. This included the procurement, ordering, production of all health and safety documentation and ensuring works were running to schedule and workers had material to work with.
“As I was on a rail scheme I was involved in platform installation which meant working weekends and nights. Although this sounds awful I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the works. This is partly because I have a keen interest in the rail industry and also the pressure to complete all works was challenging.
What skills have you gained by completing this placement?
“The main skill I acquired during the year was self-assurance and management. Being in a professional environment with real responsibilities means you have to manage your own time and a lot of trust is given to you to achieve what is required. These two skills, I feel, are important to carry through the rest of university and onto your professional career wherever that may be.
“I think having the belief in yourself is a great professional trait to have. In addition, time management is key as you are able to keep on top of everything and not leave anything to the last minute."