Have you got what it takes to meet our CE4R challenge?


This week saw AWD host the latest of the University of Strathclyde's Civil Engineering for Real (CE4R) workshops, attended by 34 civil engineering students.

The workshop series sees students work with professional engineers to tackle real-life engineering problems, allowing them to get hands on experience of industry projects and develop critical thinking skills in a supported environment. The workshop was also a great opportunity to highlight to students the important role temporary works and access engineering play within the construction sector.

Euan gave a brief introduction to the challenge; to design a temporary underdeck access gantry for the construction of the Queensferry Crossing. The challenge came from a real-life AWD project where we designed an access gantry for the construction of the three-tower cable-stayed bridge, which travels 2.7km and connects Edinburgh and Fife across the Firth of Forth.

The students worked in small teams to design their own access engineering solutions, using knowledge and expertise gained throughout their studies. Malachy and Euan were on hand to support the teams and help guide them to a workable solution. Each team had to consider several different elements including safety, cost efficiency, and ensuring their design worked within the timing of the project programme.

The students then presented back their designs to the workshop group before Euan explained the design solution AWD used in the real-life scenario. Euan said, “I was very impressed by what the students were able to produce, and it was great to see the students collaborate within their groups and provide justification for their design proposals, backing them up with sound engineering theory.

We were delighted with the feedback from the students at the end of the workshop, which demonstrates the value of the CE4R challenges in developing their engineering skills:

  • Let me use my structural engineering knowledge and see how this works out in practice. Excellent workshop.”
  • “Really interesting to hear about real life problem faced by civil engineers, especially on a very relevant project like the Queensferry crossing.”
  • “Good workshop that used prior learning (bending moment knowledge), Interesting!”
  • “I enjoyed looking into a real problem and applying prior knowledge from the course.”
  • “Directly relatable to mechanics lectures- applied heavy beam analysis and the local ongoing project makes it tangible.”

Thanks to Dr Mike Murray, and the team at the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, and to all the students who took part.