Considering a career in civil engineering? You’re in luck…
The Royal Academy of Engineering estimates that Britain needs more than half a million new engineering graduates by 2020. And with a number of million-pound-plus projects currently in development, there are no shortage of opportunities on the horizon.
Not sure which venture is for you? Here are five of the biggest civil engineering projects you could be working on right now:
On the road…
Contrary to what you may have heard in certain 1980’s film sequels, where we’re going we definitely do need roads.
In fact, with the total road length in Great Britain totalling somewhere in the region of 250 thousand miles, the development of improved road systems is an integral part of making our transport infrastructure more reliable.
The biggest project in this area is undoubtedly the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme, which aims to relieve congestion, unlock growth and help connect communities in East Anglia and beyond. The government has committed up to £1.5 billion to the project, which gets underway in 2016 and should take four years to complete.
The construction will predominantly be undertaken in a joint venture between Costain and Skanska.
Honourable mentions: Improvements on the M62, the Road Modernisation plan in London and the Heysham to M6 link (a major road plan 65 years in the making).
On the tracks…
There are many major rail building and regeneration projects currently underway across the UK, ranging from the highly publicised HS2 high-speed line, through to the new Borders railway in Scotland, the largest domestic railway constructed in Britain for 100 years. However, none are likely to have the impact seen by the new Crossrail line.
The 118-kilometre railway line is already well under construction, although it won’t be until 2019 that we see the culmination of the 10 year project. At the peak of construction it’s thought that almost 15,000 workers will be needed, meaning there are plenty of jobs still out there.
When it’s completed, Crossrail will link parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, via central London, to parts of South East London, Essex and Kent. Not only will it ease congestion on busy commuting lines across the capital, it will also be one of Europe’s largest railway and infrastructure construction projects.
Your move Crossrail 2…
Honourable mentions: HS2, the £294 million new Borders railway in Scotland (connecting Edinburgh and Tweedbank) and the Manchester Victoria Station regeneration project.
In the air …
When it comes to civil engineering, nothing inspires industry respect quite like bridges.
Some of the world’s most iconic bridges are found all across the UK, ranging from Barlow and Hawkshaw’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Iron Bridge in Shropshire and Newcastle’s own Tyne Bridge. However, a new icon is about to join the ranks: a third Forth bridge.
Constructed in 1882, the original Forth Bridge was a true feat of Victorian engineering. A second bridge was constructed on the site, around nine miles west of Edinburgh, in the 1960s, with the third structure set to complete the impressive trio in the next few years.
Officially known as the Queensferry Crossing, the new addition to the East Scottish skyline is a joint venture by members of the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors consortium (Dragados, Hotchief, American Bridge International and Morrison Construction).
It will also be the longest three-tower cable-stayed bridge in the world. How about having that on your CV?
Honourable mentions: The Mersey Gateway project, the Thames Gateway Bridge, the M1 Bridge at Lubbesthorpe.
When it comes to subterranean engineering, there aren’t many bigger projects than the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
Often dubbed capital’s new ‘super sewer’, the £4.2 billion development is being undertaken to upgrade London’s current Victorian drainage system, and bring it into the 21st century.
The tunnel, which will be 15 miles long and have a capacity of 1.6 million cubic metres, is the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the UK water industry. Construction gets underway in 2016, and 20% of all workers at the site will be from the local workforce. A number of engineering apprenticeships are also available, with 1 in 50 jobs looking to be filled by apprentices.
The project aims to be completed by 2023.
Honourable mentions: London’s Crossrail (yes, again), HS2.
Probably on a par with bridges for their ability to impress, the world’s biggest stadiums would be nothing without civil engineering.
And although there was an unquestionable rise in construction projects of this nature in the run-up to London 2012, there are still jobs out there for anyone looking to build the next theatre of dreams.
The biggest of these is likely to be found in North London, where Tottenham are building a brand-new 56,000-seater stadium from 2017. Other major stadium construction projects include Windsor Park in Northern Island, and the Olympic Stadium improvements being made before West Ham United take up residence.
And if constructing the next big home of sporting events isn’t really you’re thing, why not go down the residential route? 300,000 new homes are projected to be needed next year, all across the UK. So there’s really no excuse not to get building.
Honourable mentions: The Olympic Stadium redevelopment, Windsor Park in Northern Ireland, Liverpool’s Anfield expansion.