Student Project Success for Agata


For the last few months, we’ve had Agata Chmielewska, an HND Mechanical Engineering student from Ayrshire college working with us on her final year project with Liam, our Assistant Design Engineer, as her project supervisor.

The project involved the design of a tower crane grillage made from large, bespoke steel plate girders, at one of our sites in central London. The grillage had to be capable of supporting the tower crane in both the ‘in service’ and ‘out of service’ conditions.

The aim of the project was to allow Agata to apply her theoretical engineering knowledge gained from her college course in a practical setting and to experience working on a real-life project in a professional environment.

Agata said: “I chose to work with AWD because the project fit well with the modules I’d studied as part of my HND. AWD was suggested to me by one of my College lecturers, and after reading about the company on their website, and meeting the AWD team, it seemed to be perfect place for me.

After assessing the client requirements, Agata designed 3 potential tower cranes, eventually selecting the best fit option which was issued for manufacture and installation.

The technical work involved:

  • Calculation of the moment and shear force in the beam and the loads applied from the crane
  • From this, Agata calculated the required moment and shear capacity of the beams and designed plate girders which had this capacity
  • She checked the plate girders were suitable for limiting the differential deflection
  • She drew the beams on CAD and completed a drawing for the layout chosen
  • Finally, Agata designed the connection between the beams by checking the shear force at the connections and specifying suitable bolts

Agata then produced a report detailing the project including the design risk assessment and health & safety assessment carried out before the commencement of the project.

Speaking about her experience with AWD, Agata said, “This field of engineering was absolutely new for me. Working beside AWD engineers, I learned how important the planning process is, how to schedule work to make sure it will be done in time and how to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical way.

I accomplished these challenges thanks to the wonderful AWD team and as a result I’ve learned a lot. For anyone else preparing to start a similar project I advise to work hard, and systematically, and don’t be scared to ask questions and ask for directions if you are stuck.

I would like to give many thanks to the Alan White Design team for having me, especially to Malachy Ryan and Liam Brannan for all their support and encouragement.

Agata started a Modern Apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering in January 2019 and is hoping to become qualified in 2 years. We look forward to following her success.