Kent students gain first-hand experience of Scottish engineering

A group of future civil engineers from Kent have been taken on a tour of some of Scotland’s most iconic bridges by one of the country’s oldest charities.

The Rochester Bridge Trust took five of its Arkwright Engineering Scholars on a three-day tour up, over and across the bridges as part of its education enrichment programme to provide real-world experiences to complement classroom learning.

Aileen White, Education Officer at the Trust, explained: “Classroom learning is obviously an incredibly important part of education, but to be able to bring that learning to life with real-world experiences is also important.

“Our scholars have already started on their journey to become civil engineers, so trips such as this, which enable them to interact with engineers and go to otherwise inaccessible places are invaluable for feeding their enthusiasm and answering the many questions they have about their chosen career.”

High points of the tour were a hoist to the top of the north tower of the Forth Railway Bridge, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the lift to the top of the Forth Road Bridge. Other activities included cable inspections, a walking tour of Edinburgh’s key civil engineering sites and an engineer-led tours inside and on the Falkirk Wheel.

Scholar Joe Igoe, who is currently working towards his A-levels, said: “I already know engineering is an important part of life but to be able to visit these bridges and see the civil engineering in action was fascinating.

“I really enjoyed the whole tour but my favourite part was seeing the inner workings of the bridges, as there’s many things you don’t take into account when you drive across crossings such as these.

“It was a brilliant experience and I’m very glad I got the opportunity to take part.”

This trip was part of a series of engineering experiences offered to the scholars as part of their sponsorship by the Rochester Bridge Trust. To find out more about Arkwright Scholarships visit

As well as the civil engineering structures mentioned above, the trip was arranged with the help of Historic Environment Scotland, Briggers Association, Transport for Scotland, and Network Rail Scotland.

Read what the students thought about the trip here.

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