My work experience week by Tom Button

In July, Tom Button spent a week with a our team in Leeds on work experience. Here’s his summary of what he most enjoyed and got out of the week:


“This week has been a successful experience in a working environment. Our activities were well planned and well executed, and they gave us a wide and well-rounded knowledge of the key departments within the Curtins office. The booklet provided was a good guide through the process and helped prompt questions and further research. Over the week I have had the chance to learn about the process of structural engineers, along with civil engineers and their work below site. I have been through a project that threw up difficulties with the geo-environmental team and had an insight into the problems of below ground mining history on site and seen how these problems are dealt with. Getting to grips with the Revit software will always be good experience that future employers will value.”

What I’ve most enjoyed:

“I have enjoyed the week, and I find it very interesting acquiring knowledge about areas I have previously had no experience in. However, a particular stand out point for me, due to my interest in the creative side of the business, was learning and developing 2D and 3D models in Revit and getting an idea about both the structural modelling and the architectural design side of the software.”

What I’ve learned:

“The week has been a constant learning curve for me. I have had no previous experience or insight into the work of an engineering firm like Curtins. I’ve learnt about:

  • The logistics of sewage and waste water works beneath developments, how existing sewage works must be worked around or redirected and how all this must be taken into consideration by the architect and structural team.
  • The basics of making a building stand up and the structural layout; beams, columns, bracing, foundations etc.
  • An introduction to Revit and the workings of a very complicated piece of software.
  • Geo-environmental experience in the techniques used to uncover information about the site and also how to solve problems associated with them.”

My future career:

“The software experience will always look good for future employers, as well as a decent amount of office-based work in a well established and organised company. Any creative or engineering based company will value the experience and it will be a key part of applying for jobs in the future. In terms of its links with the future, it has helped me to establish a solid idea of how the workplace environment functions, it has influenced my decisions with regards to university directions further towards an engineering-based course and has directed my focus in the future towards a clearer end goal.”