Engineering student, Thomas Davys, is settling into life as a Trainee Engineer at Esh Construction as his placement year from university gets underway.
Aged 20 from Manchester, Thomas studies Civil Engineering BEng (Hons) at Newcastle University. After completing his second year at university, he has recently joined Esh for 12 months to gain experience in the industry and enhance his studies.
Thomas is working within Esh’s civil engineering division and is currently working on the Hendon Foreshore scheme before moving onto a bridge restoration project.
Before starting his civil engineering degree, Thomas studied physics, maths, and product design A-levels at college. He said: “I have always enjoyed maths and physics and with my creative mind, I thought construction would be best suited for me. I have always been a problem solver and logical thinker and I like to see things built from start to finish. I find it very satisfying to see things finished, particularly knowing the involvement I have had while working on the project.”
This isn’t the first experience Thomas has had with Esh however, having previously completed a one-week work experience placement alongside the Site Engineer at Trinity Enterprise Zone earlier this year.
“I shadowed the Site Engineer to learn what the role would entail and to see if I would enjoy doing the role. I really enjoyed my time on site as it was hands-on, I got to operate the total station and learn how it gets formulated structurally and how you can turn a drawing into real life,” Davys said.
After his time on site, Thomas then applied for the year-out placement with Esh. He added: “After being on site and meeting the site team, I knew I wanted to work with Esh. They were really welcoming and there was a great team camaraderie, it was a really enjoyable place to work.”
Thomas begun work on the Hendon Foreshore project in September where Esh is delivering work to strengthen the existing seawall at the Port of Sunderland on behalf of Sunderland City Council. Looking ahead to his next project with Esh – the major refurbishment of a bridge – Thomas said: “I will be gaining different types of experience over the next year. While I am at Hendon Foreshore, I am working as a site engineer and carrying out work similar to what I did at Trinity Enterprise Zone. But, when I move over to the bridge project, it will be more -QA based, which is a different side of engineering I have never worked on before. I am looking forward to the experience and broadening my knowledge of the industry.”
Esh isn’t the only place Thomas has had work experience with. This summer, he worked in London on a commercial build project, and in the summer of 2022, Thomas also volunteered in Fiji where he worked on a project to build a local hospital for the community. He concluded: “Working on these projects has allowed me to realise that communication is a big skill for construction work. I am a kinaesthetic learner, so I am learning a lot more from my work experience and placements than I have from looking through books at university.
“I would recommend doing a work placement or a year-out placement as it can get you a foothold in the industry. It allows you to get an understanding of construction and see what the role you are studying for entails. It has helped me enormously as it made me realise that I enjoy being out on-site compared to being in an office.”
I would recommend doing a work placement or a year-out placement as it can get you a foothold in the industry. It allows you to get an understanding of construction and see what the role you are studying for entails. It has helped me enormously as it made me realise that I enjoy being out on-site compared to being in an office.”