As Engineering consultants, sustainability is a word that has always been widely used, yet the definition has changed. When our first team members were coming for their job interview, civil engineering questions on sustainability would have related to the longevity of civil engineering projects. This was largely dependent on structural integrity.
Whilst this understanding of the word remains a top priority, there is a second interpretation. Questioning about a project’s sustainability now focuses on green credentials. It is designing buildings and infrastructure to meet the needs of society, whilst minimising the impact on the natural world.
When offering structural engineering services, our engineers work with local architects, renowned building developers, councils, private or commercial clients. For them and their clients, the environment is a growing concern.
Best practice now means solutions that promote carbon efficiency, waste minimisation and biodiversity. This applies during the design, planning and construction phases, as well as when the buildings and infrastructure are in use.
Sustainable Civil & Structural Engineering Problem Solving
RWA Consulting is often questioned on how sustainable civil engineering is being implemented on projects. The great news is that the engineering mindset is that of a natural problem solver. Present engineering problems and you set logical thinking into motion.
To meet house building targets, our clients have presented us with challenges such as building on brownfield and contaminated sites. Our aim is not only to ensure that sites are safe and developments are structurally sound. We also explore how to regenerate natural features and restore the land in a way that brings environmental benefits.
Following an unusually wet winter, investment in flood defences has been included in the budget. Whilst hard engineering solutions can be effective, our approach is to favour soft engineering solutions whenever possible. These use natural features for effective water management. You can read more about this in our recent Hard and Soft Engineering blog.
The modernisation of national infrastructure is a priority for economic growth. This means an increase in the conflict between development and environmental protection. For instance, the path of HS2 being in very close proximity to our office and the stunning Chiltern Hills. This is a prime example of where engineering solutions have to balance these two opposing needs.
If you are looking for sustainable structural and civil engineering consulting services, Buckinghamshire-based RWA Consulting can be contacted on 01296 624924.
Applying Technology to Civil and Structural Engineering
These days the engineering mindset is supported by innovative technology. Building Information Modelling (BIM), 3D printing and drones on-site surveys have helped to clarify the scope of projects. They aid an understanding of the challenges and opportunities on-site and in the surrounding area.
Technological developments also result in new construction materials. As an example, the switch to recycled plastic for road surfacing could deliver a viable solution whilst reducing waste.
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Addressing the Engineering Skills Shortage
We believe that resolving the challenges of sustainability make civil and Structural engineering an exciting career option. No two projects are the same, so the work is full of learning opportunities. There is, however, a national shortage of engineers with Level 3+ skills.
In Engineering UK: The State of Engineering 2019 Report, an estimate of 37,000 to 59,000 engineers was forecast through until 2024. To get close to filling the gap, the UK is looking for 22,000 engineering graduates.
RWA Consulting would love to hear from you if you are looking for Buckinghamshire-based civil or structural engineering opportunities after leaving university. Simply send your CV and a covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Civil Engineering Questions and Answers
Whilst individuals with a degree in engineering and a positive attitude are in demand, there is still an interview process to go through. Civil Engineering Questions will tend to focus on your technical knowledge and how this would be applied to resolve a brief.
No matter where you are attending engineering interviews, be certain to include the sustainability angle in your responses. Keep pace with innovative technical developments that are impacting the industry and become familiar with the projects that are being invested in as part of the UK’s £400billion Infrastructure development.