Thursday, January 15, 2015

We caught up with Sarah Leggett - an Undergraduate of the Year Award winner from 2013!

Sarah Leggett M.Eng Hons
Construction Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year winner 2013

A little about me
Travel experiences and a love of Art ignited my interest in Engineering and building design. Graduating as a Master of Engineering with Honours from The University of Sheffield, I have a driven desire to continue to achieve at the highest level. Aside from my university studies, as a Grade 8 singer (ABRSM) I enjoyed performing in the University's Singers' Society. Prior to university, I achieved my Gold and Silver Art Award, Trinity College London ‘09-’10 and taught at a French primary school Jun‘09.

Construction Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year 2013
After winning the Laing O’Rourke award I embraced the opportunity of an internship in Western Australia on Remote Infrastructure Projects and acted as an integral member of the Digital Engineering Team on the Wheatstone LNG Project: Civil Works ISBL and OSBL. Additionally I attained an insight into the complex logistical challenges associated with remote mining and resources infrastructure; Rio Tinto’s Cape Lambert Port B Project; a materials handling facility in Karratha; and BHP Billiton Iron Ore Railway Line at Port Headland.

Overall through my summer placement with Laing O’Rourke, I felt that I achieved a huge personnel development, that I grew in confidence in my own ability and that I contributed value to my employer. I made some great friends with whom I have remained in contact. As a result of working alongside such inspiring and talented individuals I was better equipped to embark on my final year individual project at University.  My summer placement at the Laing O’Rourke Perth Office reinforced my passion for engineering and project delivery. This event marks a milestone in my personal and professional development as it opened my eyes to a range of opportunities and sparked an interest to pursue a career in the construction side of engineering. I greatly appreciated the mentoring I received from Mike Idoine, Lead BIM Engineer, and Caroline Crook, Senior Project Engineer. I would like to thank Tim Kelly, Project Director and the Wheatstone Team for such a rewarding overseas work experience.

My role and what I do 
My current role involves working with the Laing O’Rourke Group Technical Services as a Graduate Engineer. With hard work and preparation, I aspire to embrace all opportunities which come my way. I am currently getting involved with improving the way in which knowledge is managed within the Group Technical Services Team, in order that the lessons learnt from each project can be shared within the business more effectively.  One of my roles on the Graduate Development Programme is to achieve personal development and chartership with the ICE, whilst offering support to my colleagues within the Graduate Development Programme 2014 Cohort.

Working with the team
When describing what working with the team at Laing O’Rourke means to me, it is the welcoming atmosphere in the workplace and on-site, together with the encouragement and support from colleagues, which is what initially comes to mind. The excitement of working within the Laing O’Rourke team means that you are part of a greater vehicle for change within the construction industry. It is the sense of belonging to your team, and that your contribution great or small is valued by those around you which makes working for Laing O’Rourke rewarding.

To exemplify this, I would like to think back to how I felt after my two month placement in Perth. In all, I felt an integral member of the Wheatstone Team. From visits to remote Laing O’Rourke sites in the Pilbara, I felt the sense of being part of a community despite being geographically isolated. The team spirit and drive to achieve collective goals which I experienced with Laing O’Rourke Australia, I noticed to be reflected in the UK business through visiting the Explore Manufacturing Facility with the IStructE and at various Laing O’Rourke Sites and Offices during assessment centres for the Graduate Programme.

It is the exciting opportunity to be part of a collaborative, ambitious team, where all aspects of the business are driven to improve the face of construction, which is the reason for which I wanted to be part of the Laing O’Rourke team after graduation.

A day in the life
Currently every day offers a new challenge. As the Group Technical Services work for all aspects of the business, with involvement during tenders, while a project is live at site or post construction, there are continually new challenges and opportunities to investigate more efficient and effective methods of work and best practice.

Sarah is the 4th Construction, Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year Award winner to join Laing O'Rourke. Following in the footsteps of Krzysztof Sieledczyk in 2010, Maria Canellas in 2011, and Oliver Brookes in 2013. You can read about Brittany Harris, the 2014 winner on her blog here.

Could you be the 2015 Construction, Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year Award winner?

The competition closes on the 4 Feb, click here to enter now!