Joanna Bate - Building Engineering (Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship) at AECOM

Hi, I’m Joanna and I work within the Building Engineering (Civils) 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 team do you work for and what does your role entail?

I work in the Chesterfield office in the civil engineering team which sits in the wider Buildings and Places team. My role consists of working to deadlines using computer aided design (CAD) software to set up drawings so that senior and principal engineers can then easily add in their designs. Following their input, my role entails revising and updating the drawings as the design evolves throughout the whole design process. The drawings must be completed accurately and to a high standard as they undergo a quality control assessment before being released externally.

What is your favourite project you have worked on and why?

My favourite project I’ve worked on is Ashton Green which is the preliminary design of 2km of highway, located in Leicester, which will link multiple plots of development land to an existing highway to allow them to be developed; this will result in the build of just under 3,000 houses and a commercial centre. This project has been my favourite as it’s the first I’ve been able to follow through from start to finish and it has given me more of an insight into the design process and the complexities which come with such a big project. As well as this, I feel like I have learnt more about what drawings are required to submit a planning application and more importantly how to create them.

What technical skills have you developed?

The main skill I have developed whilst working at AECOM is the skill of technical drawing. Technical drawing was something I didn’t have much experience in before I started working so at the start it was a steep learning curve for me. However, I quickly got used to using AutoCAD and learnt the specific formatting required for our drawings. My skill has been improved further as I am currently studying a CAD module at university which has supported my existing knowledge and given me experience in using Revit, a CAD programme that I haven’t yet used at work.

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

The AECOM Apprentice programme has given me the opportunity to study at university whilst also gaining work experience in an international engineering company. With the support of more experienced engineers in my team I have already developed key technical drawing skills and am starting to understand the wider design process. My development is being further supported by what I am learning at university as my studies link closely with my role at work. I will finish university as an Incorporated Engineer (accredited by the ICE) with a degree in civil engineering which will give me the qualifications to allow me to further develop my career in the future.

Engineering

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