GCU Civil Engineers get industry experience during Constructionarium project

Thu, 13 May 2021 16:19:00 BST
(Pictured above) Constructionarium logo
(Pictured above) Constructionarium logo

GCU students had the opportunity to test their industry knowledge during ConstructED; a three-day programme designed to replicate a real life construction project.

Third year Civil Engineering students were invited to take part in the Constructionarium project (hosted by ExpLearn) which asked students to compose a financial bid for the construction of a footbridge.

Students had to consider various elements when developing the bid - including cost, materials, planning, as well as health and safety. Each student had a role within the project which represented real jobs within the built environment sector.

Third year Civil Engineering student Daniela Fomina was given the role of Project Manager, which set her the task of keeping her team on schedule and that the necessary documents were submitted on time.

Donna described her experience of the project as both challenging and rewarding. She said: “The project was very intense. We only had two full days to focus on the bid documents and the time management to be able to deliver the bid and the presentation on the third day was quite strict.

Overall, I think everyone in our team learned more about themselves and their teammates, which is one of the reasons I find group projects like this rewarding. It also gave us a glimpse into what it's like to work on a real project and how important timing, adhering to deadlines and communication are.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project took place online for the first time. Despite the limitations, Donna saw the benefits of working virtually. She said: “Although learning in university has been online for almost a year now, this project was different to the learning I am used to.

All the communication had to be online on group calls and chats, which does not compare to talking to people in real life because a big part of communication, body language, is taken out of the equation. Connection issues also made it difficult to reach everyone on time.

While it was stressful, I think it is a good alternative to an on-site experience, because it makes it possible to go more in depth for the documentation to be prepared.”

Despite not being able to take part in person, Donna enjoyed the experience and thinks it’s a good way to learn about the industry. She said: “I cannot do the comparison of the on-site versus online project justice, but I can say that I consider this event as a great way to learn.

It is difficult, but it is worth it.  Overall, I feel the three days of ConstructED are going to help me in graduate employment because I now have a deeper understanding of the bidding process and the planning involved in a construction project.

The guest lecturers from the industry (BAM Nuttall and Jacobs, Alan White Design) were a valuable addition as well.”

Find out more about the Constructionarium event on their website.


By Rachael McAlonan

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