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University of Strathclyde students set about solving Subway challenge

The University of Strathclyde Civil Engineering 4 Real series invited Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) to run a workshop for 25 mainly third year students.

At the workshop David Gardner, Senior Project Manager, Steve Meikle, Construction Manager, and Neil Gatenby, Project Engineer, from SPT presented the students with some background to the on-going Subway Modernisation project. They then asked the students to review in groups of four an engineering problem on the…

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Students were given background on the 117 year-old system, including the unique engineering challenges SPT faces when working to modernise and maintain the world’s third oldest underground railway network.

Students had to take into consideration the physical space available, land ownership and operational issues affecting passengers.

It was an opportunity for them to put their learning into practice and work on a real life engineering project. It showed students that there are many other factors that need to be considered when undertaking an engineering project.

SPT has already explored how it can make its stations more accessible. As part of Modernisation there will be lifts installed at St Enoch station and Govan. These are key interchanges for onward travel to important amenities like the newly refurbished Southern General Hospital.

Speaking about the workshop, David Gardner said:

We didn’t share SPT’s solution with the students. We wanted to them to develop proposals and listen in to their logic. It was good to see so many of the students following the same thought process as the experienced engineers in SPT who work on projects like this day-in-day-out.”

“It is great to take time to invest in the engineers of the future. We also hope that it sparks an interest in the Subway and that some of these students would like to come and work with us at some point in their professional careers.”

“Workshops like this can help challenge and change the way we think about and approach projects – it is a great way to inject fresh thinking. It is something that we would definitely consider doing again. It would be good to set them a challenge looking at our tunnels.”

Throughout the Civil Engineering 4 Real series, students have had the chance to hear from organisations including Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, Jacobs and Atkins, amongst many other prestigious engineering firms.