Meet Jamie-Lee, apprentice technician in the high speed world of 2D and 3D design

Jamie-Lee Francis is an apprentice technician at the Bridges & Civil Structures Midlands Office. She talks about working on the high speed rail project, HS2, and what it's like to work with 2D and 3D design.

Jamie works for Arup – a big company who help with design and engineering work on the HS2 project. If you’re interested in working on HS2, there are all kinds of companies you could work for!

Jamie-Lee shares her story:

I am currently working on the high speed rail project, HS2. My role in this project is to work with a small team generating and finalising 2D and 3D designs of bridges and stuctures along the route from London to Birmingham.

It is exciting to be involved in a large project that is at the forefront of infrastructure in the UK, something a lot of people are talking about and will affect my hometown – it’s nice to be involved in a project that I will eventually take advantage of in the future.

Other projects include a village planning feasibility study in which I had taken the role of CAD Lead. During this I was forced out of my comfort zone; taking responsibility of setting out various options for bridge designs, producing drawings and presenting them in a way that was clear to a “non-technical” audience, the local community. This encouraged me to apply myself accordingly and think outside the box.

One of my most exciting works involved modelling 3D elements of various bridge components for the Tuen Mun – Chek Lap Kok Link; a southern rail connection based in Hong Kong!

Once I had finished my first year of A-Levels, I realised the route I was taking was not for me. I think a lot of young people these days feel pressured to go straight to University and do not consider the alternative routes to a successful career.

I chose an apprenticeship as it allows me to gain extra qualifications and practical experience in the industry before I start my Degree. I enjoy the element of freedom and independence I get as a result of being involved with a company like Arup. Every day is different. In the 6 months I have been at Arup, I have rapidly developed both personally and professionally whilst generating a close network of people I can call to support me within my areas of work. Working in the civil engineering industry has taught me so much about myself and the female role in society. It has encouraged me to grow up and pay close attention to the things around me as I am constantly exposed to so many new ideas and opportunities.

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