Dr Stephanie Gauthier, Associate Professor in Energy and Buildings, and colleagues organised and ran a one-week work placement from the 17th – 21st July for five year 10 students from two local, Southampton-based secondary schools. The objectives were for the students to gain an understanding of civil engineering and the work academics do. To achieve these objectives the students undertook a short design project, undertaking lecturers from multiple disciplines and lab experiments at the National Infrastructure Laboratory in Bolderwood Campus.
The design project revolved around a study by Network Rail, which identified that the Southampton rail route requires capacity expansions for both passenger and freight traffic. This expansion will include the installation of two new tracks and the demolition of the existing Central Station. To address this challenge, the five students undertook a short design project on the Southampton Central Station redevelopment.
Over the course of the week, the students took part in meetings, tutorials and labs on bridge structures, materials testing, building physics and transportation working in the virtual reality lab. All five students presented different solutions either as a station on a bridge over the tracks, under the tracks or adjacent to the tracks with passengers and public walkway over the tracks.