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Student profiles


Chris Woodfield

School: Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge

I was attracted to the course at Warwick because of the reputation of both the School of Engineering and the University as a whole. I was also keen to go to a campus university where all `of the teaching and sports facilities were in easy reach of my accommodation. I visited many universities on open days but Warwick was the first university where I identified with the atmosphere and the campus.

The thing I most enjoyed about Warwick was meeting some great friends and having the opportunity to get involved with all of the sports teams and societies. The students union also held some great events and attracted big name DJs and bands that were a lot of fun and broadened my taste in music.

Since graduating I have worked as a Graduate Bridge Engineer for Buro Happold consulting engineers on many interesting projects. In the first twelve months my responsibilities have included: the design and analysis of the steel super structure and foundations for a 65m pedestrian bridge that is to be built in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in early 2006; a feasibility study for a Personal Rapid Transit system (PRT) including design of an elevated steel guide way structure and foundations; and concept development for a bridge design competition in Liverpool. In addition to this I have advised on the new infrastructure, specifically the new roads, bridges and underpasses, that are required for a new site in order for an existing operational railway sidings to be relocated as part of the master planning works for the Olympic Park for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

My degree has helped me in my job because we covered a broad range of topics which led to a greater appreciation of the engineering principles involved with other disciplines of engineering. This also helps me communicate with a range of other engineers. I thought that both the structures and geotechnical engineering courses were excellent and frequently use the knowledge gained from these courses in my everyday job. The multi-disciplinary group design project that we did in the final year of the MEng programme was a great way to learn about how engineering disciplines need to communicate in order to achieve a solution and also how to manage and motivate other members of the team.

Eugene Derkach


As an international student, it was complicated to choose a university in the UK. Warwick had seduced me with its academic reputation as well as the non-academic qualities such as its enormous, yet very cosy campus; its location; and the almost endless list of diverse activities.

I have enjoyed the course at Warwick and have been active as a student representative on the Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC). As the name suggests the SSLC consists of staff and students who meet formally about five times a year to discuss issues to do with the courses or the university and it forms a part of the University's quality control mechanism.

In terms of extra-curricular activities I have been an active member of the Russian Speaking, Skiiing/Snowboarding and Aikido societies amongst others. These have enabled me to diversify my interests, meet new friends from all over the world and to generally have a good time. I think I will always remember my time at Warwick as the best years of my education.

Tom Heath

School: Adams' Grammar School, Newport

I came to Warwick from a Grammar school, where it was expected that all students would attend university. A chance meeting with a civil engineering graduate a few months prior to my UCAS form being submitted prompted me to apply to Warwick. After attending one of the open days, Warwick became my first choice. I was impressed by the layout and friendly atmosphere on campus; the attitude of staff; and the structure of the course - especially the ability to transfer to the Masters course at the end of year one.

In my third year, I was given the opportunity of studying at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in the USA. This gave me the chance of studying in a completely different learning environment, modules that complemented those available at Warwick, such as Transportation Engineering. I even managed to persuade my way onto a couple of postgraduate courses! My year abroad also enabled me to see parts of the States that few tourists manage, due to several 'road trips' with friends covering thousands of miles. The Americans think nothing of travelling long distances.

The photograph shows me stood on the banks of the Mississipi in st. Louis. The bridge in the background was the first rail bridge constructed across the Mississippi. The designer was a non-engineering architect. When the bridge was completed, the designer came under some criticism with the critics claiming that the bridge would not stand up to the imposed loads predicted for it. At the opening ceremony the designer ordered every locomotive in the state to park nose to tail on both sets of tracks across the bridge. The bridge stood and he silenced his critics!

Jo Edgell

School: Writhlington Secondary School, near Bath

I opted for maths, physics and chemistry at A-level, and decided that engineering was for me after a week on an 'Insight' course.

After looking at various universities, I finally chose Warwick because the course provided everything I was looking for; but mainly because Warwick felt 'right' - 'Linger' by the Cranberries was playing as we toured the halls of residence, it sent a shiver up my spine!

After an initial spell of homesickness, I loved every minute of the four years I spent at warwick. Its legacy is a bridge fetish and happy memories ... most notably the geotechnical field trip to Wales and our tutor-group sessions. It wasn't all engineering though, I got involved with the Students' union and 'managed' the likes of Shed Seven, Jules Holland and the Lightning Seeds.

Two years after graduating I returned to engineering after a spell in a commercial role. I became a Construction Advisory engineer with the Corus (formerly British Steel) Construction Centre, advising Construction Industry professionals on the use of steel sheet piling.

I hope you get out of Warwick as much as I did!

Ian Bagguley

School: Wilsthorpe School, Long Eaton

The reason I chose Warwick was a combination of the University's reputation, campus facilities and overall course content. The latter was broad, flexible and at the time seemed different to the 'straight' civil courses I looked at. This breadth of course has repaid me well in my work as a contractor alongside my mechanical and electrical engineering colleagues.

Whilst at Warwick I honed my creative skills by working on the student newspaper 'The Warwick Boar'. I started out as a photographer, then worked as photo-editor and in the art and design section, before moving on to become production manager.

Whilst at Warwick I joined the Civil Engineering Mentoring Scheme in which interested students are linked up with local practicing engineers. Through the scheme I made contact with the engineering contractors Galliford UK Ltd., who offered me a summer placement and later a permanent position with the company. Upon graduation I joined Galliford's graduate training scheme and have progressed through the company to my current role as project manager on the Millennium Point Project in Birmingham.

I enjoyed the Mentoring Scheme because of its practical relevance and the insight into the industry that the engineers gave. Since leaving Warwick I have returned to the scheme as a mentor myself and have enjoyed the contact this affords with those following Warwick's courses. As somebody who passed through the course and has since observed it from the outside, I consider I am well placed to judge the quality of Warwick's courses. I consider them to be an excellent preparation for a career in Civil Engineering and I recommend them to you. Perhaps we will meet on the Mentors Scheme!

Natasha Sim

School: Cairo American College

Studying Civil Engineering at Warwick was an experience that I'll never forget. I met amazing people and learned invaluable skills that will last a lifetime. Modules such as "Water Engineering" and "Energy and the Environment" gave me the opportunity to travel to Thailand for my 3rd year individual project. It was a hands-on opportunity which brought together many of the engineering skills I had acquired throughout my degree as well as giving me an example of the challenges and rewards of field work. It inspired me to apply for an MSc in Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London. After a fascinating year living an studying in London, I have found a job for a small management consultancy called Corporate Solutions. I will be moving to Kyrgyzstan to work on water and energy projects in Central Asia and hope to become a chartered civil engineer in the next four years. Warwick helped guide and prepare me for what I am doing today and gave me the flexibility to change paths and explore many engineering routes. I will never forget the friends or experiences that I had there!