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Young civil engineers tour Innovation Campus

16 May 2019

Students see Bouygues UK site in action

Four first year Civil Engineering students have toured Cardiff’s new Innovation Campus.

Accompanied by Dr Jay Millington, Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, and Nick Toulson, Bouygues UK, the Cardiff University undergraduates were given a guided walk around the site’s new buildings by Lee Lovering, Bouygues UK’s Senior Project Manager, Rhys Cresswell, Bouygues UK’s Assistant Site Manager and Byron Howe, from Jacobs.

They were shown the outline of the Translational Research Facility (TRF) – a 129,000-sq-ft research housing two world-leading institutes: the Cardiff Catalysis Institute and the Institute for Compound Semiconductors – and Innovation Central (IC), a new home for spinouts, start-ups and Spark, the world’s first social science park.

Mr Howe and Bouygues graduate recruit Rhys Creswell talked the students through many of the construction processes underway, including the fabrication of specialist concrete columns which will form a feature of the Hawkins\Brown-designed IC  building, and the laying of the ground floor slab at the HOK-designed TRF building.

Bouygues UK expects the concrete frames to be completed over the next few weeks, followed by the erection of steel vertical frames over the summer when the two high-tech structures will begin to take shape at the Maindy Road site.

First year civil engineering student Joe Taylor said: ”The site visit is a great experience for first years such as myself because it takes the theory taught in lectures and presents itself on the construction site, and allows you to further see how a project is managed. For the site that we visited, our group were also able to see the management of a specialised building and the precautions and planning that went into the construction process, as well as damage repair and construction innovation. For example, the specialised building currently under construction requires all vibrations through the ground to be minimalised, which is difficult considering there is a train track in regular use only a couple of hundred feet away. The visit really emphasised the innovation and knowledge required to become an engineer on such projects, and is a great motivator to do well on the course.”

Dr Millington added: “We are grateful for Bouygues UK taking the time and effort to show us around this very exciting project. It’s a great opportunity for students to see a major engineering project close up, at first hand, and reassuring to know it will play a role in training tomorrow’s trainee civil engineers like Rhys and the future scientists who will work within its walls.”

The Campus will act as a magnet, attracting public and private sector investment to turn research into real-world answers, creating social and economic prosperity. As the University’s Home of Innovation, it will be open to all.