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Trystan Davies

MEng Civil Engineering

Cardiff University

Hi, my name is Trystan Davies and I have just finished my third year of studying Civil Engineering at Cardiff University. Over the past year I have completed studies in many different engineering topics from concrete structures and materials to environmental geotechnics. The structural design studies module was particularly interesting because we were able to work in small groups to design a student hub, this allowed us to think very creatively in our approach to solving any engineering problems that arose.

In addition to the taught modules, I was also able to undertake an assessed research project with a long list of project titles available to choose from with guidance from lecturers and researchers that are experts in their fields. The title of my project was Green Concrete which provided quite a large scope for potential research areas. My project focused on the use of PET fibres as a method of improving the properties of concrete. This allowed for some practical work in the School of Engineering’s laboratory which mostly involved casting concrete specimens and then testing them to the point of failure. Figure 1 show some of the concrete specimens I cast and tested in the lab. My first and second years of university set me up very well with the background knowledge needed for my research project as well as the practical lab skills to complete my primary research. However, further reading was required to fully understand the topic and to provide a detailed report on the project.

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Figure 1

In this coming year I will be progressing onto the Civil Engineering MEng Programme. This will provide further development of skills as well as the necessary academic qualifications to become a chartered engineer with the Institute of Civil Engineering and the Institute of Structural Engineering. The year long master’s programme also allows for more specialisation in my desired field and has a large group design project where I will be working with mechanical and electrical engineers as well as other civil engineers.

Thanks to what I have learnt year on year, I have been able to complete two paid summer work placements with Griffiths Civil Engineering and Construction working on the Newtown Bypass project. Here I worked as an assistant civil engineer, mostly helping in the setting out and checking of works onsite. Figure 2 shows some of the bridge construction I was working on at the bypass project From this I was able to gain experience in the construction of earthworks, services and bridges which will prove to be valuable when searching for a job upon graduation.

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Figure 2

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