Tom King at graduation on Brighton seafront

Civil engineering graduate success

Congratulations to Tom King who graduated with a BEng Civil Engineering (Degree Apprenticeship) in 2022 and has successfully passed his Professional Review End Point Assessment to be registered as an Incorporated Engineering with the ICE.

Find out more about Tom, his time at Brighton and what he is doing now.

Brighton, civil engineering and a degree apprenticeship
I chose the University of Brighton because of the stature of the university and the offer of a part-time degree apprenticeship programme. The apprenticeship route was a good option for me as it allowed me to work whilst studying part-time, which meant that I was gaining workplace experience alongside academic knowledge. It also meant that I could earn whilst I learned, allowing me to progress personally as well as professionally.

The civil engineering course was well structured and involved a variety of modules, ranging from structural analysis to project management. It’s given me a range of knowledge that I can apply to the workplace. I would recommend it; the variety of modules allows students to try their hand at different aspects of civil engineering, which can help guide them in their career, working towards their strengths and desired career path.

I very much enjoyed carrying out geotechnical testing in the university labs, which included California Bearing Ratio (CBR) testing for my dissertation project. This type of testing is used in my workplace, so the experience and knowledge of the process and industry standards behind it is invaluable.

Career path and promotion
Since graduating in 2022, I have gained promotion to the position of Principal Engineer in the Highway Projects Team. In the role I design and oversee construction of highway improvement projects across the county. The apprenticeship opportunity has enabled me to gain promotion in my workplace, gaining real-world experience and a qualification simultaneously.

I have always enjoyed being creative and solving problems, which are key attributes for a civil engineer. On a daily basis I am required to think outside of the box and develop solutions to real-world problems. I am thoroughly enjoying my role. My experience, both in the workplace and academic, have directly aided in my progression to Principal Engineer. I enjoy the creativity and problem-solving elements of my role, but also the level of responsibility that it comes with.

Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status
I am very proud of my academic achievements that I have studied for part-time, whilst simultaneously working, however, gaining Incorporated Engineer (IEng) accreditation with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) as part of my degree apprenticeship has definitely been a career highlight for me.

I currently mentor several apprentices, and I am a big advocate of the apprenticeship scheme. I like to give back to the scheme where I can and would wholeheartedly recommend it to a new graduate.

Tips for anyone considering civil engineering at university and as a career
Go for it! If you like problem solving and have a creative flare, civil engineering can be a rewarding course and career path. There are some tough moments, but these are what help you grow and become a better version of you.

I would like to work towards becoming a Chartered Engineer, as I gain more experience to demonstrate my competence and devotion to civil engineering.

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