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Engineering

Building their future. Civil engineering students tackle real challenges

Published: 20 June 2013

First year students of Civil Engineering at the University of Southampton got the chance to put theory into practice by building smaller versions of three iconic structures.

They spent a week at Constructionarium in Norfolk, part of the National Construction College, run by ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for Construction.

Zineb Hassani was part of the team that worked on a three storey, 12 metre high version of the Gherkin, London's landmark 180 metre 40 storey office building. "It was great to put all the theory we had learned over the year into practice," she says. "I did the surveying for the project, working with a theodolite and using basic geometry as well. It was hard work and long hours but it was a really good experience."

Fellow student Alek Smoczynski and his team built a replica Brewery Wharf footbridge; the original connects Leeds city centre with a visitor centre for Tetley's Brewery. "It was certainly a challenge as it took us a little time to work out exactly how to build the bridge but I would say the week was the highlight of our first year at University," he says.

Another group of students re-created part of the spectacular Millau cable bridge in south western France, which stands 275 metres above the River Tarn

Lecturer Dr Alan Bloodworth co-ordinates the Constructionarium Week at Southampton. "This is a great opportunity for our students to tackle an exciting project over a week. They learn to work together in a team and develop the skills they will need in their careers," he says.

Constructionarium Challenge 2013
Final day of the 2013 challenge
Constructing the Gherkin

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