Batool Aljufairi

Batool Aljufairi

Industrial Placement Student

Country Bahrain / UK

Specialisms Design, structural, water

Career highlights

My working day

A day during the placement is totally different to one in university.

At university, it’s a mixture of lectures and group projects. There are also design weeks where we have no lectures and focus on providing a design or a solution to the project given, such as a bridge or a pedestrian crossing.

At work, it varies based on the type of work the team does.

Generally, the day includes eight hours of work in the office. I go on site visits, which are usually interesting and help put things into perspective.

During the placement, it’s been great to have the evenings and weekends to focus on what I enjoy doing and what I’m interested in learning about.

I travelled, joined Toastmasters, became part of the ICE Graduates and Students committee and attended various events.

My career inspiration

My sister. Yes, I was fascinated by high-rise buildings and long-span bridges, and still am, but I feel the reason why I chose civil engineering is knowing more about the field through my sister.

The conversations we have during our travels usually conclude that whatever we’re impressed by is somehow a part of what civil engineers do.

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I’m a civil engineer, but I’m also a Toastmaster. I’ve always enjoyed public speaking. I gave my first speech in grade one in the school assembly. Not sure how great that was, but it was the start!
I’ve been a member of Toastmasters International for a few years now. I enjoy training to keep developing my skills. It’s what gave me the confidence to accept the challenge of running a walking tour about civil engineering along the Thames in London.

Batool Aljufairi

Industrial Placement Student

What I love about being a civil engineer (that I didn’t know before I became one)

It’s much less intimidating than it seems, because you’re always part of a team.

Within our teams there are always engineers or other professionals with more experience who guide us in the right direction. We’re also always working with teams from different fields, whose input is invaluable to the work we deliver.

The civil engineering myth I’d like to bust

It’s all about concrete, hard hats and sites.

Civil engineering is a very broad field. The work that happens on site and the structures we see is the result of a huge amount of planning, designs, innovations, and technologies, which requires a wide range of skills.

I’d recommend a career in civil engineering because

It’s a very broad field.

When studying civil engineering, we develop a skillset which can be applied in various projects and different areas, which include structures, water, transport, aviation, construction, project management, as well as the rapidly evolving digital transformations and applications.

It’s very unlikely not to find an area of interest within the major.

The project, past or present, I wish I'd worked on

London Underground! One of the world's busiest transport networks and finest examples of engineering, despite being described as an 'insult to common sense' as an idea.

It was key to accommodating the large numbers in the London Olympic Games in 2012.

Thousands of Londoners go about their business oblivious to it, but can we imagine how moving around the city would be like if the tube never existed?

What gets me out of bed every morning?

The feeling that there’s is more for me to learn, more technologies to catch up with and utilise in our field, more that I can do, and another generation of civil engineers to inspire.

Education

I chose science subjects at secondary school (Year 11 and 12) back home in Bahrain. When I graduated, I won the Crown Prince International Scholarship, with which I moved to the UK to do A levels prior to going to University College London (UCL) for my civil engineering degree.

I did further maths, physics and chemistry for A levels because these were the subjects I enjoyed most. It’s worth mentioning though that my course at UCL doesn’t have maths or physics A-levels as entry requirements, and extra support is available for students who haven’t done these subjects.

Following a successful internship at the end of first year, I decided to explore the option of undertaking a full placement year. This was not part of my MEng degree and I was reluctant at first.

Writing this towards the end of the placement, I’m very glad that I did it as it’s been invaluable and enjoyable. I worked in marine engineering, transport and development planning as well as bridges and highway structures. It’s also been great working with ICE graduates and students committee and supporting the Institution’s events during my placement year.

I want to become a civil engineer.

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