Lauren Riddell-Smith

My third year has been the most interesting so far. I am currently working on my individual project, which involves the earthquake resistance of masonry buildings. It’s good to be able to work independently – to carry out my own research on a subject that I am really interested in.

Studying at Manchester

I decided to study at Manchester because it was close to home and it has a very reputable engineering department.

Studying Civil Engineering has been a great experience. I study five or six different units each semester, so there is a lot of variety. I also do a lot of group work which builds team-working skills; something future employers will be looking for.

Group projects and field trips

At the end of my first semester in my first year I did a group project which involved designing and building part of a bridge deck. It was very rewarding to be able to work on some ‘real-life’ engineering at such an early stage in the course.

During my second year the entire class went on a five-day field trip to the Lake District as part of the Surveying unit. It was a good opportunity to get some hands on experience and the weather was fantastic, so it was great to be able to work outdoors all day. We produced a detailed map of the area, which we then used for a piece of design coursework.

Peer support

It was in my second year I became involved with PASS – a peer support scheme to help first year students adjust to university life.

In my third year I became a PASS coordinator – my role is to ensure that the PASS scheme in Civil Engineering is running smoothly and address any problems. It’s a lot of responsibility and I am glad that I have been given the opportunity to influence such an important part of the University’s support system.

Third year and beyond

My third year has been the most interesting so far. I am currently working on my individual project, which involves the earthquake resistance of masonry buildings. It’s good to be able to work independently – to carry out my own research on a subject that I am really interested in.

When I graduate, I am hoping to secure a graduate Structural Engineer job at a well-established organisation within the industry. I would like to work on high profile projects, such as the Olympic Stadium. I would also like to work towards becoming accredited by the Institution of Structural Engineers.

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