This semester the School of the Built Environment's first year Civil and Structural Engineering students attended three site visits to learn more about the civil engineering industry.
The Helix Project
The students first observed the construction of the new extension of the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Kelpies sculptures that are now a prominent feature along the M9. Balfour Beatty and staff from the Helix Project gave talks and showed students the site to demonstrate the engineering challenges of building a canal under a motorway and the many problems of rerouting services.
Borders Railway Project
The School then took students on a site visit to the new Borders Railway project, organised by BAM Nuttall. Staff showed students the location of the Shawfair station, took them down to the bridge which is being built under the city bypass and showed them the new bridge over the A7 at Hardengreen and the Newbattle viaduct.
Hugh Wark, Project Director for Borders Railway, said: "The Borders Railway project is one of Scotland's biggest infrastructure projects for many years, it is therefore really important that we share and educate the next generation of engineers whenever possible throughout this project. We were delighted to be able to facilitate the visit, especially so given that some of the engineers on the project studied at Heriot-Watt University."
Civil Engineering student, George Georgiev, said: "Visiting the Borders Railway really helped me appreciate the constraints behind such a major project. I was impressed by the engineering solutions taken to reduce the impact on the environment and society considering the size of the construction project."
Finally students visited the new Forth bridge, the €˜Queensferry Crossing', with the support of the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors consortium. The visit started with a talk by staff in the new visitor centre followed by a trip to the north side to look at the new embankment which is being built with oil shale waste from the nearby Niddrie Bing. Students then visited the docks in Rosyth where many of the parts for the new bridge are assembled.
Pauline Thompson, Senior Teaching Fellow at SBE, said: "We are grateful to all the companies that have offered their time and support to take our students on these site visits. We hope they will inspire our students to see what they might be doing when they graduate with a degree in Civil or Structural Engineering from Heriot-Watt University."