Edinburgh students turn theory into practice on live site

Image credit: Greg Macvean

DOZENS of Scottish-based construction students have had a week of hands-on experience in the latest Constructionarium event.

A partnership between Robertson and the Constructionarium initiative resulted in 45 second year civil engineering, quantity surveying and project management students from Heriot-Watt University spending a week in a live working environment where they were tasked with creating scaled-down versions of Durham’s Kingsgate Bridge and the Westrigg Windfarm.

This year saw the introduction of a third project, dubbed the Robertson Pod, created for the challenge by Robertson with design and material support from Robertson Timber Engineering.

The works were carried out at Sibbald’s training centre at Blackridge, West Lothian, and involved Robertson working with the university to provide support and mentoring from the firm’s site management, engineers and joiners.

David Cairns, managing director of Robertson Construction Central East said, “This marks the second year we have partnered with Constructionarium to deliver the innovative and engaging programme that sees young people complete challenges similar to what we face on a day-to-day basis. This year saw us extend our support by developing the Robertson Pod especially for Constructionarium, with the challenge capturing the key standard details and interfaces being constructed daily within the industry, using materials such as brickwork, timber and ply boarding.

“The students proved their skills and passion over the week, paving the way for future placements and engagement with Robertson and the built environment industry.”

Prior to the on-site programme, students attended workshops where team members were assigned roles and responsibilities within their project. They also had to prepare health and safety documents as well as logistics and programme of works.

Dale Lyon, director of Constructionarium Scotland added, “Constructionarium Scotland has been delivering experiential learning for around eight years now, turning theory into practice for the engineering, built environment and architectural students who sign up to the project. We are indebted to Robertson on supporting Heriot-Watt this past week on three projects, including the new Robertson Pod – which has thrown up many challenges for the students, but none unsurmountable.”

Further support came from GAP Hire – Falkirk, which supplied the small plant and equipment used by students throughout the week.