Date: 31st May 2019

Transform the Future Competition

On 21st June 2019, WSP, Network Rail, Curtins and Institution of Civil Engineers are coming together to host an event celebrating International Women in Engineering Day, with presentations from industry-leading keynote speakers, food, drinks and networking.

We will be celebrating the incredible talent we have in the industry but in a whole new way.  This year we want to empower the young engineers, doctors, lawyers, artists and politicians and showcase that there are no limits to fulfilling potential.

If you are aged 14-19, then take part in this competition. All you have to do is record a 30-second clip sharing how you want to transform the future. How do you want to make a positive impact on the world around you? What do you want to be when you grow up. It’s your clip so be as creative as possible. And share it with us on either Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the #INWEDmcr2019 and #Transformthefuture. If you don’t have an account then don’t worry, you can always use your parent’s account to enter the competition.

Make sure your videos are posted by Wednesday 12th June. Top 10 shortlisted clip makers will be invited to attend the event and their clips with be shared during the event on 21st June and the winning clip with receive a prize.

To find out more, please see the poster for the competition and rules for taking part here.

Make sure you secure your place by registering here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transform-the-future-tickets-62117792991

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Digital skills workshop for Agent Academy

Date: 16th August 2019

Digital skills workshop for Agent Academy

Yesterday we welcomed 16 students from Agent Academy to our Liverpool office to take part in a digital skills workshop. The group were all second-year students from University of Liverpool, studying a range of subjects from media and law to mechanical engineering and psychology. The students had a chance to experiment with some of the latest technologies being used within the construction industry and by our team, including virtual reality, 3D printing and 3D cameras that generate virtual building tours.

Agent Academy is an industry-led, leadership development programme. It was established as a solution to the issue faced by 16 – 25 year olds who find themselves, post-higher education, without the skills to begin their careers in the creative and digital industries.

The students who joined us were all ‘commuter students,’ which means they live at home or near to the university. This often means they’re more likely to remain in the region post-university, so the skills they develop through Agent Academy will have a positive impact on local business.

Thank you to Agent Academy for involving us in the programme.

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Target fundraising exceeded for Marie Curie

Date: 7th August 2019

Target fundraising exceeded for Marie Curie

We’re just over half-way through 2019 and we’re delighted to announce that we have already surpassed our target fundraising for our partnership with Marie Curie UK. Through fundraising activities, challenges and generous donations we have raised £19,114.89 so far, beating our £15,000 target for the year.

Marie Curie’s vision is for a better life for people and their families living with a terminal illness. Their Nurses care for people in their own home, when they need them most, day or night. They have nine hospices across the UK, providing round-the-clock, specialist care at the heart of communities. Last year, they provided support for more than 50,000 people across the UK.

With more fundraising activities and volunteer days planned, we hope to continue to support this wonderful charity achieve its aims.

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We are pleased to announce a key transport planning appointment in our Leeds office

Date: 6th August 2019

We are pleased to announce a key transport planning appointment in our Leeds office

We welcome Shazad Khan who has recently joined us as Head of Transport Planning Yorkshire and the North East.

Shazad is an experienced transport planner having spent 20 years working across the private and public sectors. He has joined us from BWB Consulting and brings specialist knowledge in providing commercially viable highways advice leading to deliverable projects.

He has gained extensive experience in guiding projects through the planning process, working from feasibility to discharging planning conditions for developments of all scales and across all sectors. He is adept at managing multi-disciplinary teams on large-scale developments.

Based in our Leeds office, Shazad will be leading our transport planning team across Yorkshire and the North East, working closely with our regional heads including Alex Vogt in the North, Matt Price in the Midlands and Steven Farthing in the South.

Shazad will be instrumental in all areas of our transport planning services which extend from the initial concept stage through to detailed design and implementation. You can view our transport planning services here.

Alex Vogt, our head of transport planning north says, “I am delighted that Shazad has joined us in this leading role from Leeds, working closely with our teams in Manchester and Liverpool. Shazad’s skills and breadth of experience will add to our existing transport planning offer in Yorkshire and the North East. Shazad’s extensive local knowledge and relationships, plus his commercial approach and expertise across a range of sectors, will enable us to provide our existing and new clients with a comprehensive service in the northern region and beyond”.

Richard Osbond, director of our Leeds office, added, “The appointment of Shazad will enable us to build upon our current offer in providing the full range of Curtins pre-planning services, alongside our civil & structural, infrastructure and geo-environmental specialisms. We aim to continue to deliver the highest quality service to the Yorkshire and North East development sector”.

Shazad Khan says, “I am delighted to join Curtins and lead their established transport planning team based in Leeds. This is a very exciting time for Yorkshire and the North East and I’m really looking forward to working with existing and new clients on projects across the region”.

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Site visit in Leeds for Woodkirk Academy

Date: 25th July 2019

Site visit in Leeds for Woodkirk Academy

On Thursday 18 July, 11 Year 8 students from Woodkirk Academy visited our Leeds office to find out what it’s like to be an engineer and about the work we have been carrying out at Wellington Place, Leeds for MEPC.
 
They were taken on a site visit where they learned more about the development from Wates and the careers available in the construction industry. This was all topped off with a visit onto site to see the progress being made on 4 Wellington Place.
 
It was great to see the students enthused by the whole experience, with many of them saying that after the day they were inspired to consider a career in the built environment.
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Civil engineering family fun sessions

Date: 25th July 2019

Civil engineering family fun sessions

Supported by Curtins, ICE Merseyside is hosting free summer engineering sessions aimed at young people aged 6-14 years old on Wednesday 21 August.

Families can have a go at flying drones, virtual reality, building LEGO, water challenges and colouring.

The event is taking place at Liverpool’s Central Library between 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm.

Bookings can be made here or you can just turn up on the day.

We’d love to see as many budding engineers as possible so please help us to spread the word with family and friends in the area.

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Our third wellbeing event takes place in Leeds

Date: 17th July 2019

Our third wellbeing event takes place in Leeds

Stacey Copeland visited our Leeds office on Friday to run a third workshop on mental health and wellbeing for our staff, following events in Liverpool and Manchester. The workshop asked staff to consider the things that may have shaped their perceptions of mental health or illness, and what support systems are available to help them cope with stress or times of difficulty.

Once again, Stacey rounded off the event in true sporting form with a boxing skills session, designed around teamwork and friendly competition; and highlighting the benefits of exercise for our wellbeing.

Thank you to Stacey for another excellent session and to Nigel Maitland for the photography.

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Curtins appointed as C&S Engineer for Gorton Community Hub

Date: 11th July 2019

Curtins appointed as C&S Engineer for Gorton Community Hub

Manchester City Council has appointed Morgan Sindall Construction to build a new health and community hub in Gorton, who in turn has selected Curtins as Civil and Structural Engineer.

Discussions are on-going around what services will be available at the hub, but the ambition is to bring together a partnership of public sector organisations, including Manchester City Council, health and social care partners and housing and community service provider, One Manchester.

The purpose-built facility on Garrett Way would create a one-stop resource for local people to access a range of health, social and public services in a single location, all of which are currently delivered by several different providers in different parts of Gorton. This will include moving the Gorton library from its current site close by, with the existing library remaining open until construction is completed.

The demolition of the vacant properties on Garratt Way, formerly offices and a pub, is already under way to make way for the hub

The proposals were presented to tenants at a series of consultations in June. A planning application is expected to be submitted in July, with a start on site planned by late 2019 and completion anticipated in Spring 2021.

Shaun Jones, North West area director for Morgan Sindall Construction said:

“This is precisely the type of development we have a real passion for delivering and we are very pleased to have the opportunity and responsibility to provide these new facilities to the people of Gorton. We look forward to working closely with the city council to ensure the project has a positive community benefit during the construction process.”

Councillor Bev Craig, Manchester City Council’s executive member for adult health and wellbeing, said: “An approach like this is the embodiment of our belief that you can’t just treat health and social care in isolation – as all the other key elements of life like housing, having a good job, and having fulfilling things to do in our free time are all interconnected with our wellbeing.

“We want to help Manchester people live happier and healthier lives. Accessing services should be easy and joined up, and that’s why we are making public services like health and care work more closely, to provide better support to help people when they need it, to stay fit and well, access good quality jobs and enjoy all the rich social and cultural elements of where they live.”

The hub in Gorton sits alongside several regeneration projects taking place in the area. Manchester’s Housing Investment Fund has backed the development of more than 400 homes, including 183 homes for sale at Connell Gardens in West Gorton and 67 homes for sale and rent at Gorton Monastery.

Image: Artist’s impression provided by Manchester City Council

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David Hammond contributes to new CIRIA guidance on Construction Impact

Date: 11th July 2019

David Hammond contributes to new CIRIA guidance on Construction Impact

David Hammond, Associate in our London office, is providing ongoing specialist geotechnical advice on the steering committee for new guidance by the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) on ground movement. The project will deliver good practice guidance on prediction, assessment and control of damage from ground movements, which will be disseminated through the industry.

Ground movements caused by construction activities such as basement excavation or tunnelling have the potential to cause damage to neighbouring structures or services. The guidance will identify the principal sources of ground movements and the methods for their prediction using empirical and analytical methods. Information on commonly adopted control measures to control ground movements from initial design through to construction will be included. The project also aims to provide guidance on permissible movement for different structure types, dependent on their condition and structural characteristics, and how this might be achieved by monitoring.

It is hoped that the guidance will enable those with a role in managing construction impact from ground movement to better understand the impact and good practice mitigation strategies.

For more information, visit CIRIA’s website here.

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Alison Horton is named as an Inspirational Women

Date: 11th July 2019

Alison Horton is named as an Inspirational Women

We Are Tech Women has named Alison Horton, Senior Engineer in our Birmingham office as an Inspiration Woman in recognition of her work to encourage more people – both male and female – into STEM related jobs.

Find out what she has to say about her role as a STEM ambassador, an Engineer and a role model to young women aspiring to a career in engineering in this Q&A piece on WATW’s website by clicking here.