Jack Walker – BEng (Hons) Civil and Coastal Engineering graduate

Current employer: Dawnus Construction Limited

Current job title: Graduate Civil Coastal Engineer  

Current location: Plymouth

“If you are thinking of undertaking a course at Plymouth University, you're making a great choice and will not be disappointed.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

I have been working for Dawnus Construction Limited for around three years now (including my placement year of around seventeen months) and I am currently a graduate Civil Engineer. My current roles involve quality, resource, programme, health and safety, and technical data control. I have been part of two major projects both within £6 million in value which are the B3193 realignment scheme in Kingsteignton and the 12 dock upgrade retaining wall inside of the Plymouth Devonport dockyard base.

My career aim at Dawnus is to complete their graduate scheme programme in order to fulfil the further learning criteria set out by the ICE to acquire chartership status of Engineering. This will be achieved by progressing into more construction management roles within the company working towards site agent (manager) and eventually onto project management.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

The best part of my job is the fact that you are part of a real life project in which you had a major role. It is very satisfying knowing that you assisted a particular building, bridge, highway, or civils project when you see the end result.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

I would have started to do more contractual research prior to graduating as well as applied for further summer placements during the previous years at university.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

I was really helped by the fact that there was a great Engineering faculty within the Reynolds Building at the University, and that all of the University teaching staff on the course were beyond helpful and would always make time to assist you as long as you showed dedication in their modules. There was also a great social network amongst the courses which assisted everyone to achieve the best that they could and encouraged us to excel in modules and examinations.

Did you undertake a placement during your degree and if so, how did this benefit you?

As stated previously I did, I was on the B3193 realignment scheme which consisted of a £6 million new highway project. This placement helped me dramatically as it put teaching and learning into practice, whereby new skills were identified and developed as well as gaining experience that cannot be provided at university. My placement year was one of the best choices I made whilst at university, and I really appreciate the encouragement and assistance from Plymouth University staff towards acquiring my placement with Dawnus.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

My favourite memory is getting to grips with module content with colleagues and friends, knowing that you learnt as part of a team. This was especially true of group coursework and assignments. The atmosphere on the course was very friendly, which helped to keep us motivated.

Do you stay in touch with other Plymouth University alumni or lecturers?

Yes, I currently keep in touch regularly with Martin Borthwick of the School of Engineering, and try to organise site tours for first and second year students in Civil Engineering and Construction Management. I also try to attend and be a part of demonstrations of engineering through presentations and careers fairs.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

I would greatly recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University because of the excellent staff, course content, and the colleagues and friends you will meet on the course. Plymouth University provides the perfect environment in which every is able to dedicate themselves, show how determined they are, and excel.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?

I would like to say thank you to the University for supplying brilliant resources, the experienced and motivating lecturers, the online sources of information, and multiple labs for research and development. If you are thinking of undertaking a course at Plymouth University, you are making a great choice and will not be disappointed.