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Hyde In The 'Cloud'

4 July 2016

Costain’s Chris Hyde is coming to the end of a 12-month design placement in New Zealand, gaining valuable first-hand experience in structural bridge design and maintenance.

Chris, who graduated in 2012 from the University of Manchester with a MEng in Civil and Structural Engineering, has been based in Napier on New Zealand’s North Island. He’s been in the ‘land of the long white cloud’ as part of an exchange programme with Opus International Consultants, a leading multi-disciplinary infrastructure consultancy.

Costain has a mutual agreement with Opus, which has a team of over 3,000 engineers, designers, planners, researchers and advisors working with clients in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the UK. Opus send their design engineers to Costain, while Costain sends their site engineers to NZ to gain complementary work experience.

Chris said: “This secondment has been an amazing learning experience. New Zealand is very different to the UK in terms of topography and climate, which demands an alternative and innovative approach when you’re trying to get the most out of your infrastructure. As an engineer, I’ve learnt some valuable lessons from my overseas placement.”

While in Napier, Chris designed a maintenance walkway across the 215 metre long Mohaka Bridge, 50 metres above the Mohaka River in northern Hawke’s Bay on the East Coast of the North Island. As well as learning about structural bridge design and maintenance, Chris also worked on emergency flood repairs to bridges, seismic strengthening to buildings and reinforced concrete design on various municipal schemes.

When he returns to England at the end of August, Chris plans to take up a position on the A14 Cambridge to Huntington Improvement Scheme where he will be a member of the bridge building team.

“I’m really looking forward to putting my New Zealand design experience into practise,” said Chris.

Prior to leaving for New Zealand, Chris was also Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Graduate and Student Committee at the Institution of Civil Engineers, working with members in the regions to organise events, talks, competitions and other activities.

“When I get back to the UK I will continue my work with the ICE and take my Professional Review in Spring 2017 with a view to getting Chartered,” said Chris.

Caption: Costain's Chris Hyde stands below the Mohaka Bridge in New Zealand


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