Abigail Short

MEng Civil and Structural Engineering

  • Moved away from home for the first time
  • Enjoys hands-on lab work the most
  • Member of the Equestrian team
Photo of Abigail sat on the grass

Why did you decide to study Civil and Structural Engineering at Bradford?

During my A-Levels I really enjoyed Physics and Maths, which is why I chose Civil Engineering. I came to an Open Day when I was researching what universities I wanted to apply to, Bradford really stood out to me, the labs here were second to none and I knew it was where I wanted to study. 

The best part has been getting to work in the labs, after lectures you get to put what you've learnt into practice in the labs, I've found it really interesting, especially learning about structures.

Tell us about the projects you have worked on

In my third year dissertation I looked at designing structures and optimising them using algorithms. It's quite a new area of research and in my fourth year I did more in-depth research into the algorithms, the MEng course really gave me the chance to build on my research area.

Have you completed any placements or internships?

During my course I did a couple of full-time summer placements. The first one was at Acom for 12 weeks, where I watched and shadowed people in the office. The second was at Atkins for six weeks, and was also shadowing but I also got to design alongside what they were doing to try it out. 

Completing this hands-on industry experience alongside my degree really helped me put into practice what I learnt, developing my practical skills and knowledge.

Have you completed any placements or internships?

How did you find settling into university life?

Because Bradford is a smaller university it's quite close knit and easy to meet people and make friends. When I first arrived I made friends with people in my flat at The Green and on my course which really helped me settle in.

Were you involved in clubs and societies?

Being part of the Equestrian team was a highlight for me. It was good to get a break from university doing something I love and I got to meet so many people that shared the same interests as me. I even placed in a few competitions during my time here.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be starting a graduate scheme at Atkins in September working in the nuclear sector, designing both nuclear and commercial structures worldwide. 

Hopefully I'll become a Charted Engineer in four or five years. To become Chartered you have to gain a lot of experience and write up what you've done, and then you have to do an exam when you have proved you have the experience.

What are your plans after graduation?

What experience have you gained and how do you think it will help you in the future? 

I've grown so much as a person during my time here, moving away from home and living on my own for the first time was a big step. 

Gaining hands-on experience throughout the course was also useful, for example we had a field trip in Whitby to do designs, seeing it in real life helped us understand better.

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