My postgraduate study: Lorcan Hickey-Construction Management & Engineering

What postgraduate study in Construction Management & Engineering can do for your career.

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Job titleConstruction Management and Engineering (BSc)
Employer Waterford Institute of Technology

I chose this career path as I wanted to build on my existing experience
and knowledge base, obtained
initially through an Advanced Craft
Certificate (Carpentry & Joinery). This
BSc programme gave me the
opportunity to complete a four-year
honours degree and to study in
Denmark, as well as completing an
industrial work placement in the UK.

Industrial placement

In 2015 I did a seven-month industrial
placement with Laing O’Rourke at the
new Crossrail Liverpool Street Station
in Central London. Crossrail is a new
118 km railway connecting 40
stations, Liverpool Street being one of
the new stations on the route. I
worked at one of the two new ticket
halls under construction, on a
confined worksite with live train
tunnels in operation beneath.
During this time, I gained
invaluable experience as part of a
multi-disciplinary team, delivering
part of this massive project in
London’s Square Mile while ensuring
minimal disruption to the public. It
was an excellent opportunity to
observe and practise the teachings of
the previous three years of my course
in areas such as project management,
tunnelling and setting out.

My roles and responsibilities

My roles during this time mainly
involved managing subcontractor
packages. I was responsible for coordinating
document approvals,
managing site works, and eventually
helping to close out final accounts.
This gave me continuous exposure to
the ongoing activities in the design,
planning and commercial teams. I also
co-ordinated with the quality team in
developing and approving
benchmarks to ensure that a
consistently high standard was
delivered to the client.

Challenges and benefits

A continuous challenge for our team
was ensuring that the Tube service at
Moorgate Station remained
uninterrupted while the old ticket hall
was demolished and a new Crossrail
and Tube integrated ticket hall was
constructed. The fast-paced work
environment placed a large
significance on the planning and
preparation stages, especially during
night work.

This was really beneficial, as I
gained fantastic experience executing
the work while interfacing with other
contractors and various client
representatives. There was also
constant interaction with members of
the public who were curious about the
project – and regardless of the busy
schedule, it was always important for
us to make time and address their
queries in a professional manner.
Every day was very different on this
project, presenting new and
interesting challenges to overcome,
and I enjoyed the added responsibility
to deliver on tight deadlines.

My advice

Take every opportunity available to
develop your skills further. At times,
this may seem daunting, but I have
found that the opportunities outside
my comfort zone were the ones which
delivered the greatest rewards.

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