Mohamed Al Hashmi, BEng Geospatial Surveying and Mapping student at Newcastle University, shared his experience of a Summer placement.
1. Where did you do your industry placement?
The internship was at bp and the main office location was in Sunbury-on-Thames, Greater London with two weeks spent in Aberdeen office.
2. When did you do your industry placement?
Summer 2022, from 20th June to 2nd September.
3. Why did you choose to do a placement with that organisation?
During the GENIE 2021 careers event at Newcastle University, I met a surveyor from bp that I was inspired by due to the interesting work that he does.
Also, once I heard that bp offer summer internships, I researched more about the company and was amazed by its global presence and the wide variety of disciplines within the company, which meant that there will be many opportunities to learn and progress.
Lastly, bp’s values and beliefs matches what I believe in. The company prioritises the safety of its people and others before everything else, and it is constantly striving to make the world we live in a better a place!
4. Why did you want to an industry placement?
I was looking for for a summer internship because I wanted to get industry exposure before my final year at university. Getting involved in an internship will enable me to have a wider context on how I can apply the skills that I learned during the course and the link between my studies and career. This also meant that I will be in a better position once I graduate and start a role in Surveying/Geospatial Engineering.
5. What type of skills did you learn during your industry placement?
Many skills were developed during the internship. I have greatly increased my technical knowledge of the subject by getting coached from team members. I have also learned how to apply my knowledge of the subject and previous experience to a business problem.
Moreover, I learned how to communicate my knowledge to both technical and non-technical audiences, by presenting my project to senior surveyors and people from different entities within bp.
Additionally, I learned how surveyors provide support to offshore wind farm projects by managing site surveys to collect valuable seabed data needed for decision making prior to wind turbine installation.
In terms of other skills unrelated to my technical background, I have increased my awareness in how to follow safe practices in all that I do and how to spot cyber threats, such as phishing emails. I also learned how to listen to and respect diverse perspectives, and how to build strong relationships with others based on trust and respect.
6. How has it benefitted you on the course?
During the internship I had to conduct product testing and provide feedback to support the redevelopment of an eLearning course on Geodetic Awareness. In the pursuit of achieving this task, I had to fully go through the previous version of the course to understand it and find areas of improvements, as well as return to my lecture notes and reading material. This made me grasp the concept geodetic datums and map projections, which is especially important when working in a company that operates globally, such as bp, as different coordinate systems are used in different parts of the world.
Prior to the start of the internship, I had little knowledge in offshore surveying. For example, the specification of survey vessels and sensors used, calibration of equipment, personnel involved, sources of errors, HSE requirements and final deliverables. However, throughout the internship I have gained knowledge in this subject, which should benefit me greatly when studying the Offshore Surveying module during the final year of the course.
Additionally, at the end of the internship I had the opportunity to make a poster and present my internship project to an audience. In my final year of university, I will do something similar where I will have to make a presentation on my dissertation project, so using the lessons I learned during the internship, I will be able to improve my presentation skills.
7. What work did you do?
During the internship I had to work on several objectives. The first was to develop my knowledge of multibeam echosounder survey data acquisition and processing methods through coaching and self-study. Secondly, support a senior surveyor in the development of bathymetry data QA/QC guide by attending weekly meetings and drafting sections in the guide. Thirdly, find methods to increase efficiency in the quality assurance processes of multibeam echosounder data deliverables. This involved reaching out to industry and proposing the specification of formats and file contents to be requested from contractors.
Getting exposed to different disciplines and external visits were also a significant part of the internship. I was given the chance to spend time with and understand the work of geotechnical, drilling, project, quality and pipeline engineers. Additionally, I attended a meeting on the operational and technical side of Rampion Wind Farm, held at Rampion Offshore Wind visitor centre in Brighton. Furthermore, had the chance to spend a week in a contractor office, visit a well intervention vessel and two leading subsea technology companies: Oceaneering and Sonardyne International Ltd.
8. What would you say to a student who might want to do Geospatial Engineering at University?
New sensors that collect data linked to a location are being developed every day. In fact, we are at a point where there is abundance of data and very little expertise that know how to handle, process and analyse geospatial data. As a Geospatial Engineer you will learn how to work with data, produce valuable insights and identify useful patterns.
Moreover, if you enjoy the outdoors, you will have the opportunity to collect data yourself or if you prefer working in the office you can reverse engineer the process to understand the quality of the data and how it was acquired.
Finally, the applications of Geospatial Engineering are endless, whether it is urban planning, analysing flood risk, detecting deforestation, producing digital elevation models or 3D modelling, you will always find something that interests you.
If you want to find out more about the BEng Geospatial Surveying and Mapping degree at Newcastle University, click here.