Planning a Placement?


Fraser Smith, student at Newcastle University, shares what they enjoyed about their year-long industry placement.


1. Where did you do your industry placement?

Murphy Geospatial based in their Manchester Office.


2. When did you do your industry placement?

February 2021 until January 2022.


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

After speaking to Murphy Geospatial representatives at the GENIE (Geospatial Engineering Newcastle Industry Engagement) event back in 2018, I discovered that this was a professional company which provides excellent support and utilised the latest technology on their many and varied projects located throughout the country.


Shortly after the beginning of the new 20/21 session at Newcastle University it was soon announced that lectures would switch to online learning. Whilst the world appeared to be sleeping, Murphy Geospatial responded positively to my speculative enquiry seeking an internship. I was successful and they offered me a post in Manchester. Murphy Geospatial are one of the leading surveying firms in the UK, so I did not hesitate to grasp this opportunity.


4. Why did you want to an industry placement?

Because surveying has so many different pathways, I have found it a difficult decision to know which business area I wished to pursue my future career. For me doing a placement has provided with more clarity in the direction I aim to follow. Furthermore, the opportunity to apply my knowledge and gain hands-on experience in a professional working environment was invaluable.


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

Operating in a real work environment my organisational skills and time management improved significantly within this period, appreciating the importance of completing jobs within time and budget. Looking back, taking me out of my comfort zone has given me much more confidence when dealing with clients either face to face or on the phone.


As I was working in the field most days, I learnt how to operate a wide range of surveying equipment from Total stations, GPS, Laser Scanners, Ground Penetrating Radar and even bathometric equipment and UAVs!



6. How has it benefitted you on the course?

One of the main benefits of completing an Industrial Placement, has been the exposure to a huge variety of interesting and complex projects. This has provided me with very valuable experience which has significantly improved my knowledge and understanding of the course. This opportunity has also helped me to decide on my dissertation topic. This has saved me a great deal of time, as I have already collected my data.


7. What work did you do?

At Murphy Geospatial I was involved in some of the largest construction projects in the UK. This entailed, monitoring the impact of the new High-Speed 2 Railway, UAV surveys up in the North of Scotland or even a topographic survey of an RAF base with live typhoon fighter jets operating in the near vicinity, no two days were ever the same!


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

Go for it- you won’t regret studying at a Russel Group University with highly experienced and most importantly supportive lecturers. At Newcastle University your learning will include both the theoretical and practical applications. We have outdoor practicals every week, developing skills on the latest surveying equipment. You will have the opportunity to go on field trips, project work and industry visits. The course also provides you with the technical skills required to succeed as a graduate. Job opportunities abound! Oh, and the Toon is a great city too!


Thinking about studying Geospatial Engineering at Newcastle University? Click here for more information.

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