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Edward Chaplin

Edward Chaplin

Digital engineering apprentice




United Kingdom
My highlights

Being awarded an ICE QUEST scholarship

Working on Hinkley Point C

Striving to learn as much as I can on a daily basis together with my mentor

How I became a civil engineer

I went from my GCSEs to A-Levels, where the plan was to study chemistry at university.

Instead I took a gap year, I did some light travelling and took some time out for myself.

I was itching to get some experience and start my career, rather than go back into full-time education.

So I started looking for apprenticeships that would lead to an interesting career and recognised the possibilities within civil engineering.

Once you start to think about what civil engineering includes, you realise how almost everyone is reliant on the work we do.

A day in my life

My usual day would start with a coffee in hand, on the bus travelling across the largest construction site in Europe!

I work in digital engineering. Most of the day I'm at my desk using 3D modelling software and programming to create innovative solutions to problems.

I will be expected to output detailed technical models and tools with equally detailed method statements that can be used to automate tasks in digital engineering.

I often can be found in meetings with site engineers or colleagues, discussing the problems in detail and gathering the information I need.

Alternatively I could be explaining the output I have and handing it over to them.

We asked Edward…

What’s one great thing that you love about civil engineering that you didn’t know until you started working in the industry?

I'd never thought about how reliant humans are on civil engineering.

Where there are humans, there are people building civil structures such as bridges, dams, roads, and so on.

Once you start to think about what civil engineering includes, you realise how almost everyone is reliant on civil engineering.

Which civil engineering myth(s) would you like to bust?

That civil engineering is a polluting industry.

Civil engineering is more than ever focused on sustainability and having a low carbon footprint.

Which individual project or person inspired you to become a civil engineer?

I can’t say for sure that one particular thing inspired me to go into civil engineering. I was looking for a career where l'd be challenged and have a good balance of practical and theoretical work.

Civil engineering jumped out as the best fit, and as I can see Hinckley Point C from where I live, everything else fell into place after I decided it was what I was going to do.

Which civil engineering project (past or present) do you wish you’d worked on?

I used to love ancient history at school, and I think even more interesting is the great civil engineering projects they completed without any of the advanced technology we have today. For example, the Colosseum in Rome, or the great pyramids.

I'm also interested in where civil engineering will take us in the future.

What if humans look towards colonising other planets?

Civil engineers will then be tested on their inventiveness creating structures that can be transported compact and lightweight and then erected on another planet.

Civil engineers will also be expected to build structures to protect civilisation from global warming, rising sea levels and changing weather, as well as providing reliable energy sources.

What about being a civil engineer inspires you?

The variety and the people!

Every day brings a new challenge and my team is full of great people who I enjoy working with!

Would you recommend a career in civil engineering?

Civil engineering is an exciting area of work.

If you want to travel while earning and furthering your career prospects, there are major engineering projects all over the world that enable you to do this.

The projects are always different, and as each project progresses there will be new exciting challenges.

I look forward to the many places that civil engineering will take me.