Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators: Anna Milner’s Work Experience Week

19 March 2024


We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Anna Milner, a Year 12 student from George Abbot School, to our civil engineering team in Ash Vale for a week of work experience. Anna is currently pursuing A Levels in STEM subjects, is keen on exploring diverse career paths, particularly in engineering. Here she shares some details of her week with us.

What are your favourite subjects at school?

I am currently studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths. Chemistry is my favourite at the moment since it helps to explain the science behind everyday objects and all the reactions that happen which allow the world to function. I enjoy maths due to its logical nature and biology.

What about a career in engineering interests you?

I am very passionate about the environment and engineering would allow me to utilise the skills necessary to make a positive contribution to help reduce the impacts of climate change. I believe it would also be a rewarding career, as you get to see the things that you helped to design be implemented into the world and see the impact it makes on people’s lives.

What have you learnt during your week at Patrick Parsons?

My week with Patrick Parsons has made me realise the immense amount of planning that goes behind the infrastructure which we use daily. I went on a site visit to a housing development in Frimhurst, where Patrick Parsons is involved in the drainage, roads and pavements on the development. This visit made me aware of just a few of the many regulations engineers have to follow and factor into the design such as: constructing in root protection areas, protecting historic areas, as well as methods on managing contaminated land.

I was also introduced to AutoCAD and Site3D where I learnt some of the basic functionalities. I then used these new skills to help make changes to a residential development using the architects’ comments. In Site3D I gained knowledge around how to use the long section plan of roads to fit within the constraints of superelevation, vertical and horizontal levels.

Additionally, I researched legislations around dewatering and silt management to help respond to a company’s question. This was interesting as I had never acknowledged before how drainage strategies play a key role in every civil engineering project – from dewatering land for excavation, to providing long-term drainage solutions for highways and buildings.

Do you think you will be pursuing engineering in the future?

I will definitely be considering studying engineering at university. Gaining work experience at Patrick Parsons has been very valuable to me as it has allowed me to gain a greater understanding about the role of both civil and structural engineering and the distinction between them, as well as the necessary skills needed to become a successful engineer. Upon speaking with a structural engineer in my week here, I will also look further into both structural and environmental engineering as possible options for the future as they sounded like they would align with my strengths and passions.

I would like to thank everyone at Patrick Parsons as they made me feel so welcome and gave me a lot of useful guidance and support towards pursuing a career in engineering. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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