Third-Year Civil and Structural Engineering | Ministry of TransportationWhere are you completing your internship placement? Why did you select this company?
I am currently on internship at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. I selected this position because it offered me the opportunity to work in the bridges field of civil engineering and this was a field in which I was very interested.
What do you hope to gain from this internship experience?
My primary goal was to gain work experience in civil engineering. Having had no previous experience I felt it would benefit me learn the tasks that would be expected of me in the workplace. This would allow me to gain insight and help me determine the work I might enjoy performing in my future. Having now completed approximately half of my internship, I hope to leave the Ministry of Transportation feeling confident in my ability to inspect a bridge and identify typical or critical deficiencies.
How are you applying knowledge and skills you learned at Western Engineering?
The courses I have taken at Western have taught me to observe a structure and determine how loads are transferred and distributed. This knowledge was important for me to understand because it allowed me to see how loads are distributed in a bridge. The materials courses are critical as they introduced me to certain theoretical aspects related to bridge inspections. The course taught me how each material was used, its strengths and weaknesses and identified the deficiencies in materials and how they occur.
What type of roles/experiences have you had at your current placement?
My major role is to assist the engineers with bridge inspections. This entails going out in the field and conducting an examination of each element of a bridge and locating and assessing the severity of their deficiencies. Afterwards, I am responsible for generate a report which describes the findings of the inspection. The reports also include a rating which determine the overall condition of the bridge and when it will need to be rehabilitated.
How has the internship enhanced your learning experience at Western Engineering?
The internship has provided me with learning that I could not receive in class. In addition to having the opportunity to apply my theoretical learning to a practical situation, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the process that goes into the rehabilitation or reconstruction of a bridge and the innovative ways in which this is being done.
What insights have you gained from this experience that will help you make decisions about your future career?
From my experience at the Ministry of Transportation, I have determined that I am very interested in bridges and will likely continue to work in this area of civil engineering after the completion of my undergraduate education.