Civil Engineering and Construction careers fair

Students studying subjects including Architecture, Civil Engineering, Construction Management, Building Surveying, Urban Planning, are invited to the Built Environment and Civil Engineering careers fair on Friday 2 December. Come along to Cockcroft Hall between 1-3 and find out about placements, part-time work graduate opportunities and more.

It’s a great opportunity to talk to recruiters, academics, Brighton graduates and careers advisors all in one place. Dozens of employers will be there – you’ll find the full list here.

Studying and socialising in our nationally recognised building

estates_cockcroft_aw_048The recent, multi-million pound project transforming the Cockcroft building into a state-of-the-art research, teaching and information building has been recognised in the prestigious Green Gown Awards for 2016.

Our university and the architects we worked with Fraser Brown MacKenna were named Finalist in the Built Environment category for what was one of the largest retrofits of an occupied academic building in the UK.

The transformation was described by judges as “an innovative approach integrating architectural, building services and structure design” which unlocked the environmental potential of the 10,500m2 building using the latest technology.

Innovations include an aquifer thermal energy store, potentially reducing energy demand, CO2 emissions and fuel savings. The system stores and recovers thermal energy beneath the ground and provides heating and cooling.

A spokesperson for the awards told the university: “On behalf of the Green Gown Awards Team we wanted to congratulate you on your achievement. Being a Green Gown Awards Finalist is something to be extremely proud of.”

Earlier this year the Cockcroft project won in the Higher Education category of the Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards 2016. Judges called it a bold project and a model for future similar projects. Read More

Collaborative engineering in action

A group of our Civil Engineering students visited the site of a flood prevention scheme in West Sussex to gain an insight into what collaborative engineering looks like.

The visit to Clay’s Lake was organised with Mackley and was designed to help students develop their understanding of how theory works in practice.

Civil Engineering student Lottie Ashcroft said “We learned about all aspects of the project, including sustainability, planning and design, whilst gaining an insight into the various job and responsibilities of civil engineers.”

Scott Sedon adds “The visit gave me a good insight of what collaborative engineering work looked like, and also allowed me to question the professionals which increased my depth of understanding of the engineering world.”

David Knapp, Mackley’s Business Development Manager, said: “This is the second group of students to visit Clay’s Lake and both parties have been a credit to the University of Brighton.

“Their collective appetite for learning and passion for civil engineering was very apparent, and it was a pleasure to spend time with them and explain the work we are carrying out.”

You can find out more about the visit here. Or contact Dr Maria Diakoumi ( for more information.




Report on SET Seminar Series – 2nd November

Hi Everyone,

Today the new SET research seminar series was launched with an exceptional guest speaker from industry.
Maria Nesdale is the Education Practice Area Leader and a Senior Associate of Gensler and is involved in design research from an education perspective.  Her research at Gensler is based on how people use and interact with their environment.

The title of Maria’s presentation was User Focused Design:
How do the spaces which you live and work in make you feel?
How does the space affect the way in which we interact with the environment?
Can employee data drive a workplace strategy?
At the beginning of the 21st century the challenges we all face are vast, they include: urbanisation, technology and a fast paced life.  These different sets of circumstances have to be reflected in how we design and use spaces.

The user experience can be measured in many different ways.  Research shows we need to look at how efficient a space is, what it is being used for and then we can begin to understand why certain things are happening.
The workplace performance index (WPI℠) is a tool which Gensler developed to allow employees to rate their workspaces.  The  WPI℠ is a pre-and post-occupancy survey tool used to gather employee input on workplace performance factors before a design project—in order to inform design decisions—and after the project—in order to measure the success of the design.  It is no coincidence that the most successful and innovative companies world-wide are known to have the best workplace environment satisfaction.

Open plan office space is no longer considered the optimum option, and many new and innovative approaches are being conceived to provide cost effective person centred design solutions.
If you would like more information about the User Focused Design research conducted at Gensler please contact Maria and she will be happy to help.

Thank you to everyone who attended and helped launch the new SET seminar series!
The next SET research seminar will be announced soon and we look forward to seeing you there!


Survey of watercourses

Today Elliot Batty and I visited Hassocks and the surrounding area with Peter King (OART) and Sandra Manning-Jones (Sussex Flow Initiative) on an initial survey of the watercourses. Elliot’s dissertation will be investigating how small upstream flow retardant interventions (using natural materials) may help to reduce peak flood levels in small communities such as Hassocks.


Elliot will be using the facilities at the university to physically model wood debris dams to help identify suitable designs and locations position for these structures, both in Hassocks and in future flood alleviation projects.

3D coastal defence

The University of Brighton has produced 3D before-and-after printouts of sea defences at Medmerry near Chichester, Europe’s largest coastal Management Realignment site.

Nick Gray, coastal engineer with the Environment Agency, collected the models from Dr Heidi Burgess, Senior Lecturer in the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences.

Nick commissioned the printouts for the Visitors Centre at Pagham. They show the seafront before realignment and after.

Dr Heidi Burgess and Nick Gray with the 3D printouts

Dr Heidi Burgess and Nick Gray with the 3D printouts

Read More