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Costain Backs Top Young Talent

Team Seeks Low-Carbon Supply Chain

6 October 2016

Two Costain sponsored students have achieved top marks this summer.

Gemma Small, now Site Engineer on Costain’s A556 Knutsford to Bowdon Improvement project, achieved the highest overall grade in her year when she graduated from the University of Salford with a first class Civil Engineering MEng degree.

Alex Davis, Trainee Technician, achieved Distinction in his HNC in Civil Engineering at Chesterfield College. He also gained an NVQ Level 3 in Design Drafting.

Gemma embarked on her degree in 2011. She spent her summers at Costain projects such as the Heathrow Airport programme of works and then took a year out of university to work on an industrial placement on the Costain Heysham to M6 link road project.

“It was great to be able to put theory into practice, and it helped me get a feel for the sort of work I wanted to do in the future,” she said. “It’s a career path I’d recommend to anyone interested in civil engineering.”

Gemma is now waiting to find out if her MEng dissertation project on engineered cardboard origami floor joists has won a prize from the Institute of Structural Engineers.

She said: “Last year the first part of the dissertation on the feasibility of corrugated cardboard structures as disaster relief shelters was shortlisted for the regional Michael Horne Prize. Part two looked at using cardboard to make lightweight, low carbon floor joists. It has now also been nominated for a Michael Horne Prize, with the results announced in January.”

Alex joined Costain at 16. He is currently working in Costain’s Manchester office, drawing up steelwork and foundations diagrams for contracts in the oil and gas sector. It’s the latest role in a two-year programme that has seen him undertake a variety of work around the business. He is now on course to become a fully qualified technician later this year.

He said: “It can be challenging but I’m always up for doing new things so it’s worked out really well. Working here was a big help with my HNC. The guys were always happy to answer any questions I had and, along with some great teachers at college, definitely helped me gain my Distinction.”





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