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Craig Brunt, Aarsleff. Civilian Placement

Just a quick note of thanks to everyone at Aarsleff for agreeing to my civilian placement. You have all been very welcoming and helpful in the two weeks I have been with you, and I thank you for your time and efforts in making it all happen. I have found the experience very different to what I’m used to as I joined the Army as a teenager upon leaving school; however different is good and I will look to adopt the lessons I’ve learned within my future career both short and long term.

Hi Craig. Tell me a little about what you are studying.

Currently, I am studying for my foundation degree in Civil Engineering from the Royal School of Military Engineering at The University of Greenwich. I am a second-year student. The course is multidisciplinary in its approach to learning. My modules vary from Ground Engineering and Design to Project Management and Roads and Airfields.

When did you begin your civilian placement with us?

I commenced my placement on the 27th March and finished on the 7th April, however, 2 weeks was just not enough!

What attracted you to choose Aarsleff for your civilian placement?

I was delighted when Aarsleff’s Senior Technical Estimator Ashley Carter came to our site in Brompton Barracks in Kent, to deliver and informed and insightful presentation on the company’s ethos, history, techniques, current projects and the future that they intend on heading within ground engineering. I approached Aarsleff with the hope of carrying out my civilian placement from the Professional Engineering Wing (PEW) of the Royal School of Engineering (RSME) at Aarsleff Ground Engineering, and thankfully they were very happy to assist me in the pursuance of my civil engineering career within the military.

Where has your experience as a Military Well Driller taken you?

In 2009 I was based in Afganistan doing well drilling. I returned in 2011 to upgrade the wells, install bathrooms and connect and treat the water to forward operating bases. I have also been stationed in Canada (British Army Training Unit Suffield, Alberta, in a village called Ralston over a 3 month period where I worked on 4 wells.

What got you first interested in engineering?

I was 17 when I joined the Army. I like that engineering is a lot about problem-solving and working on a project from its start date to completion gives me great job satisfaction.

What objectives did you set yourself before starting your placement?

I wanted to increase my overall knowledge of the techniques used by Aarsleff in ground engineering projects – the equipment used and applicability to military engineering in infrastructure projects. I wanted to improve my site knowledge and managerial planning activities for safer projects and finally gain practical experience of groundworks engineering and piling practical application. Although piling is not a Corps application, it is a core skill within the expertise of civils projects.

What have you been doing at Aarsleff?

I started off my placement by having an introductory tour of the head offices and its neighbouring precast pile manufacturing facility. It was very impressive and I learnt so much about the piling process. I then worked with Estimating where I got familiar with risk assessments and method statements. After my initial first day in the office, I was then up and about visiting a variety of multi-discipline techniques on projects across the UK. I saw steel tubes and driven precast piles installed down in Newhaven, anchored sheet wall in North Road, Durham and Sheet Piles in Sandhurst. I also shadowed one of Aarsleff’s colleagues in a contractors meeting which was useful in understanding the client-contractor relationship.

Did anything stand out to you during your 2 weeks with Aarsleff?

I noticed on the construction sites that there was a lot of communication and cooperation between Aarsleff and other companies on site. I can say with absolute honesty that the whole team at Aarsleff made me feel very welcome, and I was treated like a member of the team from Day 1. I hope to see you again soon.

Thanks Craig

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