I’ve found my place in the world

The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s outreach program for the Year 10 work experience week has been operating and developing for seven successful years. In June 2016 sixty high school students from around NSW joined CVEN academics and industry partners on different sites around Sydney to experience the world of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The program this year saw students come from Blue Mountains, Coffs Harbour, Forbes, Illawarra, Jindabyne, Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, Woolgoolga, and all areas in and around Sydney. One third of the students accepted were girls.

I was inspired to appreciate the skills and effort that engineers put into building our society not only physically, but also culturally

The students appreciated visiting a wide variety of civil engineering sites – in progress, accomplished and in creative incubation – including construction company Laing O’Rourke’s ‘Innovation Space’, the UNSW Water Research Laboratory at Manly Vale, Lend Lease’s development at Darling Harbour, UNSW Driving Simulator Lab, Port Botany, Centennial Parklands, Seacliff Bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge, a construction site managed by Brookfield Multiplex, the Opera House, ICinema at UNSW, Barangaroo, and the NSW Transport Management Centre.  

Everyone came back to the university each afternoon to write a report. On Friday the students worked on their own creative and group projects in the School’s Design Studio – designing and constructing their own model bridge – (with straws, string and sticky tape) and testing it for stability and strength. See pictures.

Year 10 work experience 2016

Feedback from the students about their experience on this highly sought after program were consistently positive and often very heart felt. They include:  “the great thing about being a structural engineer was that you left your mark in the world, and you made a positive difference to lots of people. That’s what I want to do with my life. I want to mean something and have made some positive changes to this world.”

Also “Reflection back on the week, I am so grateful for all the academic leaders who took time out of their days to inspire students like us… I was inspired to appreciate the skills and effort that engineers put into building our society not only physically, but also culturally…I would love to be involved in the environmental and transportation aspect of engineering and I cannot wait to pursue this passion that I was never aware of prior to this program. Therefore I will always be grateful for this amazing opportunity and week.”

A winning team Day 5 of year 10 experience 2016

Lastly “Everything we did was amazing, not only the places we went but the people I met and the things I learnt too. I really feel like I’ve found my place in the world which is such a huge relief. I’m almost certain that I will be attending UNSW based on this trip. I can’t believe this is already over. Thank you so much for this. It really has changed my life.”

The program runs every year in Term 2 Week 9 and applications for next year’s program will be accepted from March 2017. Students need to apply through the Career Advisor at their School, be available for the full five days, and be contactable by email.

Our special thanks to the generous support from our industry partners - Arup, Aurecon, Bouygues Construction, Brookfield Multiplex, Laing O’Rourke, JK Geotechnics, SMEC, Taylor Thomson Whitting and WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff - whose funding makes this event possible. 

Thanks also to Advisian, ARUP, Barangaroo Delivery Authority, Brookfield Multiplex, Centennial Parklands Education Precinct, Darling Harbour Live, Laing O’Rourke, LendLease, Sydney City Council, Transport Management Centre, and the UNSW Water Research Centre for making the time to welcome and inspire the interest of these potential engineers.

Our grateful thanks also to the UNSW staff who dedicated their time to showcase an area of engineering – particularly the indefatigable project manager Ms Tricia Tesoriero and also the School academics, researchers and professional staff who were on the team -  Alireza Ahmadian, Dr Ali Amin, Professor David Carmichael, Associate Professor Ron Cox, Dr Steven Davis, Dr Vinayak Dixit, Dr Kurt Douglas, Sajjad Eghdamirad, Dr Stefan Felder, Dr Lauren Gardner, David Green, Dr Mitchell Harley, Dr Bruce Harvey, Maria Lee, Dr Nhat Le-Minh, Dr An Ninh Pham, Dr Craig Roberts, Jamie Ruprecht, Dr Johnson Shen, Conrad Wasko, Dr Kasun Wijayaratna, and Dr Zhitao Xiong.

Interested in doing work experience with us next year? Learn more about the work experience program here.

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