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Work Experience Student Reports on “Interesting and Enjoyable” week with Cognition

22 December 2022

As part of his Transition Year between GCSEs and Sixth Form, Daniel Collins spent a week student work experience placement with Cognition in December 2022.  Dan has a keen interest in science and engineering and wanted to gain a better understanding of the design and construction processes for construction projects.

In his week with us Dan got to visit three of our major land development projects at Bow Common Gasworks, Plumstead West Thamesmead and Greenham Road, Newbury.  Each held its own interest for Dan and, apart from learning all about the contamination remediation and ground engineering work Cognition are carrying out at the sites, he got to roll up his sleeves and get involved in the delivery of the works.  Tasks he completed included surveying locations for tower crane base piles, soil sampling for contamination hot spot removal, and helping with lifting operations for the construction of a new perimeter fence.  Dan also spent time with our technical team in the design office carrying out slope stability assessment, producing CAD drawings for a perimeter road detail at Greenham Road, and a contamination desk study exercise for the Harwell office.

Dan had the following to say about his time with Cognition…

My time at Cognition Land and Water - Daniel Collins (work experience)

"My week with Cognition has been enjoyable to say the least.  This week I have met loads of new people within the company and everyone has been really welcoming, helpful and friendly.

My first day, at Bow Common Gasworks, was a great introduction to Cognition.  With a few inches of snow having fallen overnight, it was a different day to normal I was told.  The Site Engineer, Robbie, gave me a Health & Safety induction and showed me around the site.  I sampled soils for contamination hotspots being dug up for treatment and also helped Robbie survey in the pile locations for one of the proposed tower crane bases.

Day two and three I met the lovely people in the Harwell office.  Technical Director, Andy, gave me a contamination desk study research exercise to complete on day two.  On the third day I worked with Jack, Engineering Manager, using various design software such as LSS, CAD and Geo5 to carry out a slope stability assessment for a perimeter slope at the Greenham Road site.  Later in the day I prepared a CAD drawing showing the detail of the design incorporating the findings of my slope stability assessment.  I really enjoyed these days in the office and found the CAD, LSS and Geo5 very interesting.

On day four I was with Conor and Albert at Plumstead on a large housing development site.  This day was the coldest out the whole week  but I still had great fun with Albert and the rest of the guys on site.  We were setting up a new gate and fence at Gate 3 and we spent most of the day moving Kelly blocks for the fence and finding where they were meant to go.

My final day, was a bit more relaxed with a later start and a site visit to the Greenham Road site, a former landfill being remediated for redevelopment.  During the site visit I saw where the perimeter road and fencing were to be carried out.  It was really interesting to see how and where my design work would be constructed onsite.  I spent the second half of the day completing the desk study exercise, writing up my weekly diary and preparing this report on my week with Cognition.

Overall, I really enjoyed my work experience time here with Cognition Land and Water.  I would just like to thank everyone I met because everyone was so helpful, kind and friendly".

All in all, Dan had a very productive and positive week, he learnt loads about the engineering design and construction processes, and his experience seems to have fortified his interest in engineering and construction.  We wish him all the very best in his education and future career.

If you would like further information on Cognition services and the value we can bring to your project, please contact our Technical Director, Andy O’Dea on or 07833 873 065.

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