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Friday, September 5, 2014

Winner of the Construction Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year Award 2014, talks us through her first few weeks on her placement at Laing O'Rourke : PART 1

During my application for the Undergraduate of the Year Awards I was fortunate enough to secure a placement working with Arup in their Hong Kong offices. I hadn’t assumed I would win the Awards, so wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity to work abroad over the summer. Luckily when Laing O’Rouke announced me as their winner of the Construction Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year Award they were very accommodating and both companies allowed me to shorten both placements so I could fit them both in!


I have loved working in Hong Kong. It is a huge change of pace to working in the UK with long working days and a lot of responsibility. I have been designing foundation for and LNG power station in the Philippians; this requires complex dynamic analysis and consideration of minimal differential settlement across the site.  
Aside from work I have made some great friends both in Arup and Laing O’Rourke. Laing O’Rourke has a hiking team and we go out twice a week which is a great way to get to know people and see Hong Kong. I have also managed to fit in lots of sightseeing on my weekends, but I still have plenty more to do.

It has not all been plain sailing. Visas have caused considerable strife and the 8 hour time difference makes it nearly impossible to contact people at home. Jet lag and the weather is a lot to get used to, and the inevitable Asian stomach bugs have caught me out once. But all this pales in the rush of the city.

Before beginning my placement with Laing O’Rourke I was very excited to be on site, but also a little apprehensive as I had been warned about working in over 40oC heat. The experience ends in mid-September, so watch this space for an update on how it went.
Brittany Harris, Civil Engineering, University of Bristol
Construction Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year Award winner

Think this could be you for 2015? Apply to the awards here: undergraduateoftheyear.com/construction