Our graduate Samuel Glass has been named ‘Student of the Year’ at the 2016 Plant & Civil Engineer’s ‘Plant, Construction & Quarry’ Awards.
A delighted Samuel was presented with his award at a glittering ceremony at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast.
Earlier in 2016, Samuel graduated from Queen’s with a first class honours in BEng Civil Engineering and he is continued with us, taking a postgraduate master’s degree in Construction and Project Management.
When asked why he chose civil engineering?
“I knew from a young age that I was interested in engineering. I grew up on a farm and was always encouraged to be practical as well as academic. Consequently I spent my summers working with a local builder and in a steel fabricators workshop. This gave me a good appreciation of the practicalities involved in construction.”
As part of his engineering degree he took a year on work placement with McLaughlin & Harvey.
“During this time I spent 8 months on a harbour redevelopment project in the north of Scotland as a site engineer. Initially, it was challenging because as a student, everyone on site has more experience in their particular roles, yet being in a management role meant that inevitably I had to direct others. I had to be committed to improving my own communication skills and this was something I came to rely on as I was given more responsibility on site.
“I found a balance must be achieved between respect for others experience in the job and authority on my part. I realised early on that involving others in decision making and respecting people’s individual experience is key.”
Samuel also spent the summer of this year working with Creagh Concrete in their design office.
“I wanted to experience the design aspect of construction before choosing a career path. My time was divided between engineering where I was specifying the required steel reinforcement in precast products and design where I was in regular contact with clients to draft their projects using CAD.”
As for the future, Samuel is aiming to spend the next 3-5 years gaining experience in the civil engineering/construction industry as an engineer/project manager and working towards becoming chartered.
He eventually wants to specialise in the marine area of civil engineering.