News & Views

Kingston University Early Careers Presentation January 2023 – Reviewed

The Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS), as part of its Early Careers Group (ECG) initiative, recently presented to students at Kingston University.

The event, held 10th January, was delivered to final year Civil Engineering students in one of their lectures on Geotechnical Engineering, following an invite from Dr Joshua Omer, Senior Lecturer at Kingston University.

The presentation, which was attended by nearly 30 students, was delivered by David Major, former Chair of the FPS Early Careers Group, who opened with an overview of the FPS, and its remit to improving standards in safety, improving working conditions, and promoting commercial practices.

The presentation then moved on to take a look at some recent projects, such as HS2 and Thames Tideway, as well as some residential and commercial projects. This led into a look at a typical working day, assessing a piling tender and specifically ground investigation analysis and its vital importance to understanding ground conditions.

David then moved on to talk about ‘Why choose a career in Ground Engineering’ and the many career path options available to students. How students could set themselves up for a career in the geotechnical sector was also presented, as well as how students could find more information and take the next step to a geotechnical career.

A Q&A session followed, which encouraged some excellent questions and showed an eagerness by students to know more about the geotechnical sector, as well as an interest in some of the issues and challenges that the sector is facing and addressing. Interest in sustainability was considerable, with questions asked about what sustainability initiatives the industry is working on, including low carbon concrete and recycled reinforcement and how do we re-use piles in the future? How design for performance instead will be increasingly importance, without compromising safety, and the use of non-diesel power plant and equipment was questioned.

On a wider level, questions were asked if technical codes a guidance differ much around the world, how do contractors offer value engineering alternatives to clients and consultants.

A question was asked about any ‘tips on entering the industry and expectations from employers’, which David was more than happy to provide.

A great presentation, with excellent feedback and the ECG has been invited to go back to the University in the near future to deliver a similar presentation to the MSc students.

If any educational establishments have an interest in receiving a similar presentation to its civil engineering students, please contact the FPS via email: FPS@fps.org.uk