Since receiving a Bridge Wardens’ scholarship in 2014, I’ve gone on to pursue my studies in engineering.
I am currently in my first year at Newcastle University, where I am studying a master’s degree in civil and structural engineering. Having completed a research placement at UCL over the summer, Newcastle University was really appealing to me due to its excellent links with industry – something I hope to follow up over the summers to come.
Having almost 40 hours of lectures a week, I have been able to study a variety of modules, including structures, sustainable design, surveying and environmental systems. What I really enjoy about civil engineering is how varied it is – civil engineering is everywhere. If you were going to set up a development you would need to design the buildings, survey the ground and work out how it will impact the environment, including the amount of waste it will discharge! This means you can never get bored and although the days are long you know what you are learning will have a great impact on people.
My favourite module thus far is called Design of Sustainable Engineering Systems. For the first semester we were put into groups and asked to design and manufacture a truss of 1.5m by 0.2m, withstanding a load of 1,050N. This required a variety of skills, including designing a unique truss, resolving the forces in each beam and building the structure in just a few hours. The task highlighted how important teamwork is, sharing the workload and merging ideas.
Newcastle is a very social university and with its excellent sports facilities I am able to comfortably balance my work and social life.
The scholarship I received during my sixth form has provided me with the knowledge and platform I required to pursue the career I’m most interested in. I would recommend the Arkwright scholarship to any keen young engineers as it helps you to gain recognition during your work placements: Without the Rochester Bridge Trust sponsoring me I’m not sure I’d be where I am today.
I aim to continue to show that my decisive, inquisitive nature is a huge asset to any engineering team.
• In summer 2016, Åsa – who is a keen rower – featured in The River People Exhibition, hosted by the Institution of Civil Engineers. The exhibition has finished but you can find out more here.
Click here for more information about Young Engineer Åsa Lofstedt