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Abertay student selected as engineering representative for Scotland

4 April 2013

A student from Dundee has been selected as the Scottish Representative for the Institution of Civil Engineers’ Graduate and Students Network (GSNet).

Thomas Podger, who is in his second year of the BSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering at the University of Abertay Dundee, has been an active member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Dundee Area Branch since joining in 2011.

The ICE is the UK’s qualifying body for Civil Engineering, and each region within the UK has a Graduate and Students Committee consisting of a number of local branches.

In his new role as the GSNet Representative for Scotland, Thomas will liaise with the branches across the country and report on their activities at national meetings.

Activities run by local branches include the Rapid Response Engineering Challenge (RREC) and the Engineering For Life festival, both of which Thomas has been heavily involved with over the past two years.

The RREC promotes civil engineering in local schools using the example of Honduras to demonstrate how natural disasters can disrupt lives by destroying roads and bridges, thus requiring engineers to help rebuild the necessary infrastructure.

The annual two day Engineering For Life festival aims to inspire S3 pupils to consider careers in science, engineering and technology using a range of practical sessions such as tower building from giant Jenga blocks, and bridge design using computer software.

Speaking about why he applied for the role and what he hopes to achieve when he qualifies as a Civil Engineer, Thomas Podger said:

“I’ve really enjoyed the work I’ve done as part of ICE so far – it’s great being able to go into local schools and talk to children about what civil engineering actually is.

“I think that’s really important, as hopefully it’ll inspire them to think about civil engineering as a career.

“I applied for this role as the GSNet Representative for Scotland because I wanted the opportunity to be able to work with the ICE at a national level and be involved in a larger way with planning these types of activities. I also wanted the opportunity to represent graduates and students and be a part of the team that shapes the future of the Graduate and Student Network and, with it, the ICE.

“Although graduation is still a while away, I hope to work for a company designing bridges and structures and would really like the chance to travel with the job. The best thing would be to one day see a landmark and be able to say to people ‘I designed that’.”

Programme Tutor for Civil Engineering Dr Cornelia Doerich-Stavridis said:

“We’re really proud of Thomas for being selected for this position, as he’s a great student and has worked incredibly hard for ICE over the past two years.

“The GSNet role will be great experience, and will certainly boost his employment prospects on graduation, as this position is something he can put on his CV that will help make him stand out from the crowd.”


For media enquiries please contact Kirsty Cameron T: 01382 308935 M: 07922041198 E:

Notes to Editors:

In addition to his role with the ICE, Thomas is the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) Novus Representative for the Dundee and Central Area. More information about the CIOB can be found here.

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