My week at Curtins

Isobel Turner is a seventeen-year-old student with an interest in structural engineering and has recently completed a week-long work experience placement at Curtins’ Head Office in Liverpool. Here she talks about her time with the company:

“On my first day, I was given a brief introduction to Curtins and their company values. One of the first things I noticed was the company’s dedication to training and their encouragement of school leavers and graduates.

During the week, I was introduced to several staff members, one of which was structural engineer Katey Lidell. Katey talked me through the fundamental engineering principles, such as stability and equilibrium, which engineers use as a basis for a lot of the work that they do. I found this particularly interesting and when I was later asked questions on the topic, I could answer most correctly. If I did come across something I was unsure about, Dave Ogilvie – an engineer and my other mentor for the week, was on hand to offer support.

Over the course of the week, I was asked to complete a number of assignments. This included basic hand calculations on the load takedown of a building; bending moments and shear force calculations for some beams, as well as calculating the axial forces in a set of columns. I was also asked to check these calculations using Tekla Structural designer and modelled the building using Revit.

I found using the software a little challenging at first, however the results were rewarding and gave me an insight into the day to day work of both structural engineers and technicians.

On top of everything I learned about structural engineering, my mentors made sure I got to see the business as a whole. I spoke to members of each department within Curtins, including technicians, Transport Planners, Civils/Infrastructure and Marketing. It was clear that they were all more than happy to take the time to help me with my work experience and they were very patient with all the questions that I had to ask.

The welcoming atmosphere and range of specialisms makes Curtins a great place for a work placement. I got a well-rounded experience and thoroughly enjoyed my time here.”