Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), along with its main contractors Lagan Construction Group, Ferrovial and Amey welcomed University of Strathclyde first year civil engineering students to the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project as part of their initiative to support and develop young people in the local community.
The visit gave the students an excellent opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained to the practical and relevant environment, creating a unique experience on a project of this size. At the end of the visit the students gained a huge amount of knowledge of a construction site and the challenges they will have to face in the future.
To date the project has offered 21 site based placements to graduates undertaking professional engineering training allowing young people to gain experience and learn new skills. This provides a link between theory and practice giving the students the opportunity to see how things work in the real world.
Gillian Smith, who opted for a summer placement, on the project, has secured a full time position working on the improvements to Raith Junction after completing her master’s degree with University of Strathclyde.
“Engineering brings something new every day. Working on this project has given me a valuable insight into the construction industry and provided me with practical skills which I can continue to develop and put to use in my future career.”Gillian Smith, Summer Placement Student
The construction team face a complex engineering challenge in creating the new Raith Junction in Lanarkshire. Not only are they building a new elevated roundabout above the old one, they are also forging an underpass beneath it.
As part of their site tour the first year students and their lecturer Dr Michael Murray visited Raith.
“The site visit gave the students an insight into the technical challenges faced in civil engineering in the built environment. This is key as it allowed the students to see the theory they are learning being applied in the real world whilst understanding other roles on site, in particular the importance of health and safety when managing and co-ordinating activities. “Understanding all of these aspects will be vital in their future careers as engineers.”Dr Michael Murray, Lecturer
The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project aims to tackle congestion problems on the A8/M8, M73, M74 and at key junctions including Raith (M74) and Shawhead (A725/A8).
When complete, congestion across the central Scotland motorway network will be significantly reduced, with travel time reliability between the main route of Glasgow and Edinburgh improved.
Road users travelling on the new M8 between the two cities will benefit by shaving almost 20 minutes off the daily commute, while 15 minutes will be saved travelling through the new Raith Junction.
Pictured: Sam Wallace (Highways Agent, Lagan Construction Group) and Stuart Millar (Health & Safety Advisor, Ferrovial) pictured with University of Strathclyde students.