Rikki Sargent

Rikki Sargent Photo 1

05 Jan Rikki Sargent

Job title: Assistant/Trainee Structural Engineer
Type of position: Placement
Company: John Farquharson Partnership
Degree: Civil Engineering with Sustainability

Why I loved it:

“Every day was completely different. A new project and a new scheme. Innovative, out of the box thinking. Problem solving in a real life situation. Having an immediate sense of seniority on site. You designed it, what you say goes!”

My best experience/greatest achievement:

“By the end of the placement I gained the responsibility to manage and run my own selection of projects. My peak was for a job in central London. I was the prime designer on a new build job for a public house with 3 levels of residential apartments above, plus a receded mansard timber frame roof on top. I incorporated a mixture of steel framing with load bearing masonry.”

What I learned:

“Designing structural elements and working in line with building regulation requirements on residential and commercial projects throughout central and east London.”

About my experience/Tips for students:

“Do not just look at the top 100 companies. Start looking in the yellow pages or equivalent for local structural consultants. Get on the phone and just ask! Chances are with companies like that you may get straight through to the managing engineer of the firm, who has 30 years of experience on his hands. Smaller companies such as JFP throw a lot more responsibility at you and the learning curve is steep. You are sat across from experienced engineers who are at your disposal. I experienced so many different sections of the industry first hand. Smaller companies have to do all the work with the small resources they have. Procurement, project management, design, site visitation, reports, communication. Plus you gain relationships with company partners so there is a good chance of extending your employment.”