Oliver, MEng Civil Engineering

Ollie is a Graduate Geotechnical Engineer working for Hyder Consulting (UK) in the Geoscience department in Guildford. He completed his Masters in Civil and Structural Engineering in 2013 at the University of Leeds.
You could say it wasn’t until my final year of University that I realised I wanted to be a Geotechnical Engineer! My two favourite subjects at school were Maths and PE. I was quite good at both of them. Although I dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, I soon realised that was not to be the case!
I initially applied for Architectural Engineering at University; it seemed like a logical decision as I enjoyed problem solving, I was good at drawing and was fascinated by the structures surrounding us in the world we live in. After completing my first year, where a broad range of Civil Engineering topics were studied, I soon developed an appreciation of what interested me the most; the idea of how structures stood up, what they were constructed on and simply how they wouldn’t fall over in extreme weather conditions! This led me to have a profound interest in the area of Geotechnics.
Every modern structure we see in the world today would have been constructed on some kind of foundation. Geotechnical Engineering is becoming more and more prevalent in Engineering worldwide and its importance is becoming increasingly recognised. Soil-structure interaction is a topic which fascinates me. I love it because of the diversity in projects that I have the opportunity to be involved in. I have worked on all sorts of projects; tube station redevelopments, earthwork widening of motorways and even remediation of old Chalk Mines!

When I come home from work I feel like I have achieved something, and am contributing to making the fascinating world in which we live, a more sustainable and pleasant place for current and future generations.
In the future, I hope to expand my Engineering knowledge further whilst also gaining much experience in other departments (such as Structures) to become a more all-rounded Engineer, eventually worthy of Chartership!
I would definitely recommend civil engineering to anyone applying to university, even if you are not the best student at Maths! This is simply because it can be so diverse in the eventual fields you can go in to, from construction management, concrete and steel engineering, flood defence mechanisms, hydraulics…the list goes on! There is something for everyone and a chance to make a positive impact on the world!

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