Considering an Industry Placement?


Jennifer Merridew, BSc Geographic Information Science student at Newcastle University, shared her experience of a Year in Industry.


1. Where did you do your industry placement?

Sixense Monitoring, London Bridge (UK) and Voiron (France)


2. When did you do your industry placement?

September 2021 - August 2022


3. Why did you choose to do a placement with that organisation?

They work on a mixture of projects in multiple fields so I knew I could see a wide range of applications of my degree. Also a multinational company and part of the VINCI group, I knew that I could make some useful industry contacts over the course of my placement. I also liked the organisational model of the company, with more focus on teams of expertise rather than a hierarchal system.


4. Why did you want to an industry placement?

Primarily to gain some experience which I could use once I had graduated, but also to gain some insight into where I could potentially take my degree. I had a rough idea of what I eventually wanted to focus in, but I still wanted to assess my options. It also felt like a nice way to break up my studies and potentially avoid academic burn out.


5. What type of skills did you learn during your industry placement?

Working with both the UK team and the team in France I was able to develop skills in multiple areas. I was able to work on traditional monitoring surveys and formal report writing but also data manipulation and statistical analysis. I was also able to further by understanding of AutoCAD and BIM.


6. How has it benefitted you on the course?

It helped me gain context to principles I learnt in first and second year which I know will only improve my work when I return in third year. I have also noticed a massive improvement in the ease in which I can speak or write about technical aspects of my work which I hope I will be able to take back to university with me.


7. What work did you do?

My placement was divided into two. Initially I was working at the Sixense office in the London where I worked with the monitoring team of HS2 at the Old Oak Common Site. I was able to assist in document writing for both internal circulation and for the client. I also had the chance visit the site with the survey team. This was really interesting as structural monitoring surveys were not an area I had a lot of experience in.

Once I had moved to work with the mapping team in France, I got the chance to work on the more digital aspect of geospatial engineering. I was given the opportunity to assist on the development of a Terrestrial Laser Scan to Point Cloud software called Cirrus. This allowed me to really get acquainted point cloud data and how to it can be used to create highly detailed 3D models whilst also gaining a deep understanding of how the scanned data was initially collected. Simultaneously, I was also able to work with AutoCAD to update technical drawings for a separate project.


8. What would you say to a student who might want to do Geospatial Engineering at University?

Geospatial engineering is an interesting area of study that could take you in so many directions in terms of your career. It’s quite rare that a degree has so many applications that you can take your skill set and apply it to whatever subject area interests you. I really like knowing I have the opportunity to work in a field I know will be fulfilling.


If you want to find out more about the BSc Geographic Information Science degree at Newcastle University, click here.

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