Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

NEWS > Careers > Rachel Attwood PGS 2008 - 2015

Rachel Attwood PGS 2008 - 2015

The idea of a career in engineering was sparked by a 'flexible learning day' in Year 8 where the whole year group spent the day designing and making rolled paper tube bridges!
7 Feb 2021
Written by Rachel Attwood
United Kingdom
Careers
Rachel Attwood class of 2015
Rachel Attwood class of 2015

I suppose I was always destined for a career in engineering. My Dad, a draughtsman for a local mining firm, always challenged me to think about how things worked and wrote out multiplication and division questions to keep me entertained on long car journeys. It was at Pate's, however, that the pieces came together to nurture this interest in maths and asking 'why' and 'what if' into a plan for my future. In year 10, Mrs Furze took us for a PSHCE lesson and instructed us to go to the careers library and 'pick a career' and this is when I stumbled upon the ideas of civil engineering and architecture. Thinking back from this point, a 'flexible learning day' in year 8 where the whole year group spent the day designing and making rolled paper tube bridges was probably the spark that started the fire. 

 

A family friend recommended the Smallpeice trust to me - short residential courses in the summer holidays, based at universities around the UK to give 15-17 year olds an insight into what engineering is and what a career might involve. I attended two courses, one about railway engineering where we designed a crumple zone for a train, and one about structural engineering which featured another bridge designing activity. By year 12 I was firmly set on the path to becoming a civil/structural engineer. I chose to do an EPQ linked to civil/structural engineering so that I could demonstrate to my chosen universities that I had a passion for engineering. I researched the Forth Road Bridge and wrote about some of the problems that have arisen since its construction and what can be learnt from these mistakes from an engineering perspective. I showcased my research around a scale model of the bridge - the final piece was still, when I last checked, in Mr Worth's office! Working on this project lead to what, on reflection, was a truly extraordinary 24 hours where my dad drove us from Tewkesbury to Edinburgh for a one night stay to take photos of the bridge from every conceivable angle and visit a museum in Queensferry with an exhibition about the history of the bridge. I'm lucky to have such supportive and dedicated parents!

 

After I left Pate's in 2015 I started studying Engineering at Cambridge university with a joint sponsorship from the Institution of Civil Engineers and Graham Construction (thanks to Mr Worth for helping with my application). Fast forward to today I am a site engineer with Graham Construction with three summer internships and approaching 18 months of full-time experience under my belt. I have worked on civil engineering projects covering the energy, railway and maritime sectors, in Kenilworth (Warwickshire), Gloucester, Middlesbrough, Tilbury (Essex) and now Swansea. Although the direction of my path within civil engineering has been fine tuned over the past few years, I'm still as passionate about being a civil engineer as I was when I first landed on the idea nearly 10 years ago - I have Pate's to thank for starting the fire and for helping it grow.

Do take a few minutes to watch Rachel's 5 minute video about her career - it can be found on the Careers page.

 

 

Similar stories

Josh (right) interviewing

Josh never planned for, or even imagined, working in TV and Radio but next month he will be starting his first freelance shifts in national TV at Channel 5 News. More...

Arywen (centre) and her team with PN counting equipment

Six months into her Government Degree Apprenticeship as an Economist with the Department of Transport, Arywen has thrown… More...

Phoebe outside Durham Cathedral

Phoebe lends some valuable insights into her life as a Politics & International Relations student at the wonderful (smal… More...

Businesses in the Refectory

The 2023 HE & Careers Fair was the biggest and best yet! It was wonderful to have so many universities, gap year organis… More...

Leo and Sophie talk about the decision making behind taking a gap year and the far reaching benefits that taking that ye… More...

Most read

Speech Day 1967 - Tim is third from the right, front row

I attended an alumni reunion at Pate's in 2016. It was very pleasurable to re-engage with former classmates and contemporaries not seen for over forty… More...

2012 reunion of 1R

This October, sixty years after their first day at PGSG, Yvonne and other members of 1R will be attending their 60th Anniversary Reunion at Pate's. We… More...

We are absolutely thrilled that Pate’s, partnered with Cotswold School Academy, has been selected as one of only fifteen new Language Hubs in the coun… More...

Have Your Say

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech