Oliver masters civil engineering with a year in industry

It was a proud day today (Thursday, July 23) for Oliver Brooks, from Orton Waterville, Peterborough, as he received his MEng Civil Engineering (Year in Industry) from Swansea University and as he prepares for a bright future with multinational construction company Laing O’Rourke.

Oliver BrooksOliver, aged 24, received his award at the Summer Degree and Award Congregation for the College of Engineering, at the City and County of Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall, watched by his proud parents, Robert and Lorraine.

Oliver, a former pupil of The King’s School, Peterborough, graduates after five years of undergraduate study, having initially entered Swansea University on a BEng course and later transferring to an MEng with a year in industry.

He began his studies at Swansea in 2010 and in his second year of study, Oliver won the TARGETjobs Construction Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by Laing O’Rourke. His prize was a 10-week summer placement with the company in Queensland, Australia on Coal Seam Gas infrastructure.

Having impressed during this placement, Oliver was offered the opportunity to extend his time in Australia and further contribute to the project.

He accepted and the extended placement became part of an “extraordinary” year in industry, where he had the opportunity to work on two large scale infrastructure projects on opposite sides of the world.

“The first project was a $500m+ water treatment plant in regional Queensland, Australia,” said Oliver.

“And after 10 months on that project I moved back to the UK to work on the major upgrade of London’s Bond Street Station.

“The projects could not have been more different.  In Australia I was at least an hour’s drive away from anything remotely like civilisation and in London I was right on top of Oxford Street, the busiest shopping street in Europe. I came across very contrasting challenges, but the skills required to be a successful engineer I found remained much the same.

“Throughout my placement with Laing O’Rourke, I was challenged with different roles and I always felt like an important part of the team.  When I was in Australia, I was involved with managing the in-situ concrete package of works on site.

“At the end of my 10 months on the project, I had wide reaching responsibilities from dealing directly with the client, subcontractors and suppliers, to planning works and quality assurance.

“Back in London, working on the major upgrade of Bond Street Station, I became one of three site engineers responsible for delivering a reinforced concrete substructure.

“Once again I used many of the skills I’d learnt in Australia, but perhaps with a more hands-on approach as, for example, setting out and dimensional control became a big part of my role.”

In September, Oliver will take up a graduate post with Laing O’Rourke as a Digital Engineer.

In addition to undertaking his MEng studies and a year in industry, Oliver also participated in the University’s Engineering Student Ambassadors programme.

Student Ambassadors deliver Student Life presentations and Question and Answer sessions at schools and colleges, and assist with events such as the University’s Open Days, speaking to prospective students and their families to answer any questions they may have.