Daniel Knowles - Water Engineering (Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship) at AECOM

Hi, I’m Daniel and I work within the Water Engineering team at AECOM in our Chesterfield office. Alongside my work I’m studying a level 6 degree apprenticeship in Civil Engineering at the University of Derby.What has been your favourite project?

So far I have worked on a range of projects including flood management, water quality improvement and drainage design. To pick a favourite would be difficult as they are all so different to work on and the people you deal with really vary. I consider myself environmentally friendly so to be able to work on a bigger scale project such as improving the water quality of major highway drainage near Middlesbrough to rejuvenate the aquatic life in the area, making a real difference to the planet, feels especially enjoyable. I have also worked on a project in Nottingham that is more of a two-tier job as it is both reducing the risk of flooding and increasing blue-green infrastructure. This means not only are we protecting local homes, but making a nice green space out of it to be used by the same locals including a re-designed park and a new cycle path promoting more environmentally sustainable methods of transport.

What advice would you give to students considering the Apprentice route with AECOM?

I would definitely advise current students at sixth form or college to look at an apprenticeship at AECOM as I believe that degree apprenticeships are the way forward, and AECOM facilitates them extremely well. In the past I believe apprenticeships were seen as below going to university however they are more difficult, more intense but far more rewarding. Personally, at my school no one pushed me towards degree apprenticeships as I was achieving high grades and thought University was the only option for me, however once I looked and saw all the benefits it seemed like the only choice to make.

How has the AECOM Apprentice programme developed your career so far?

When I started as an apprentice I expected to be given limited roles and unimportant jobs. To my surprise, AECOM has given me great responsibility in the designing of projects as well as the management and control of aspects of the job. They have entrusted certain roles to me such as being a Super User (local expert) on new programmes and systems we are using, making me an extremely valuable member of my team.

What key support have you had on the programme?

I have had plenty of mentors and experts around me to help me develop my ability to work and improve my engineering knowledge, all building towards my experience and becoming an Incorporated Engineer with the ICE. I am also pleased I chose AECOM as the support system in place as well as the way they value their apprentices has allowed me to grow as both an employee and an adult.


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