Helen – Arkwright Scholar update

Since being selected as a Bridge Wardens’ Arkwright Scholar in 2012 I’ve continued on my journey to become a civil engineer.

I’ve now completed my first year at the University of Bristol, where I’m studying a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering – I aim to graduate in 2018.

My studies – especially end of year exams – have been keeping me busy, but where possible I’ve enjoyed gaining extra experience too.

Through the university mentorship scheme I was paired with international engineering firm Buro Happold. As their head office is in Bath I was able to visit for a tour, during which I gained insight into some really interesting current and future projects.

Also, as part of my degree course I went on a surveying trip in Pembrokeshire. A team of us worked together taking height and angle measurements of a plot of land to draw a scale map. It was a challenging week that led to some very late nights as we raced to write up our results, but our efforts paid off as my group received a top-level grading of a first for the trip.

Back on campus, my course involves up to 22 hours of lectures and laboratory work a week, with assignments in my own time. Initially I found it hard, but by staying organised and motivated I was able to keep on top of the work.

My modules have included structures, fluid mechanics and properties of materials. For me, the most challenging was fluid mechanics as it was something I had no previous experience of.

Bristol is a really good university for civil engineering, especially if you enjoy the design aspect of the career. The laboratory facilities are great, so doing the experiments every few weeks is something I enjoy. In particular I’m looking forward to taking part in the earthquake lab, which students in higher years tell me is very exciting.

The tutors are also some of the best teachers I’ve had, their lectures are engaging and they’re great at giving support where it’s needed.

Continue to follow Helen’s progress here, or here to find out where her scholarship journey began.

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