2nd October 2023

On World Architecture Day - a Structural Engineering Case Study

In celebration of World Architecture Day (October 2nd 2023), we caught up with Cecily, one of our Structural Engineering students and spoke to her about the impact that our residential courses had on career aspirations, educational choices, and personal growth. This Engineering Course is tailored to provide a thorough grasp of Structural Engineering disciplines, life at university, the real-world relevance of academic subjects in university education, and provides the opportunity to connect with fellow peers in a diverse learning environment. This course offered an insight into structural engineering through an enriching range of hands-on, practical activities and theoretical discussions from industry professionals and academics from Coventry University.

An Enriching University Experience: We asked Cecily about her favourite aspect of the course, Cecily highlighted that she “enjoyed making the bridge” with her peers. Engaging with fellow enthusiasts, bouncing ideas off one another, and collectively improving their designs was both educational and enjoyable, according to Cecily. Another element of the course that Cecily enjoyed was the lecture on sketching skills as she described the lecturer to be “passionate” about the subject and inspirational.

Inspiration from a Diverse Learning Environment:
As part of our courses, students get the opportunity to meet with other like-minded students where they can share their knowledge and passion for STEM subjects. They also get the chance to meet with leading university academics and industry professionals who provide lectures and career talks to all who participate. Cecily told us that she was inspired by “how external speakers delivered their talks” as they highlighted the importance of environmental considerations when designing structures. Cecily was impressed by the level of passion and enthusiasm from all the speakers and lecturers across the course.

Enjoyable Stay and Campus Life:
The Structural Engineering course was one of our Momentum residential courses, the course itself ran over several days and included catering and accommodation at Coventry University. Her first university experience, Cecily described her stay on the campus as “picturesque” and applauded the overall design of the main campus hub.

Summing Up the Course in Three Words:
In three words, Cecily described her experience as "Insightful, Innovative, and Imaginative." These words capture the essence of a course that challenged their boundaries and nurtured their creative thinking.

Career Aspirations and Engineering Insight:
For Cecily, this course has been an eye-opener to the considerations needed when building a structure; she “didn’t realise that the local environment such as the direction or prevailing wind had so much of an impact on the design of structures.” For Cecily, this course was a key reminder that the intricacies of architecture extend beyond its aesthetics, into real-world applications of functionality and sustainability.

Encouragement for Future Participants:
For those wanting to attend a similar Smallpeice Trust Course, Cecily advised: “make friends at the start, bring your own snacks, and make sure you get your ideas across in group projects”. This made her stay at Coventry University more enjoyable and ensured her overall experience was a positive one. 

Thank you to Sponsor:
Structural Engineering was delivered in partnership with Coventry University. With a heartfelt “Thank you” Cecily acknowledged the university’s role in making her transformative journey possible. Once again, Smallpeice Trust Residential Courses have proven a testament to the power of education to inspire, transform, and shape the aspirations of young minds in engineering.


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