Within this exhibition, I will explain the process and difficulties of a recent university project I was involved in. The project came under the module ‘Group Project – Conceptual Design’ and so I worked within a group of 8 students.  We were required to submit a technical report detailing our conceptual design of an automobile manufacturing plant capable of producing up to 6,000 vehicles per month within the Middlesbrough area.

Through my work outside of university as a trainee engineer, I have developed confidence, excellent communication and am comfortable working on various projects with a wide range of people. Because of this I naturally took a lead within my group and headed our weekly meetings, organized works for each individual and frequently reviewed progress. I believe I showed great leadership qualities through the project alongside my technical knowledge and am very proud of the submission that my team put together.

Throughout the project various challenges were faced, the most obvious of which being the inability to meet up as a group in person due to COVID-19. This made communicating with each other harder than in previous years of university, all our meetings were held online and our main method of communicating outside of these meetings was through group messages. To avoid the negative impacts of this I tried to make our meetings as useful as possible utilizing a meeting agenda and set structure for each meeting. Another difficulty came from working within a group of diverse members, everyone had different ideas and areas of knowledge and sometimes it was hard to agree on different subjects or misunderstandings occurred. However, we managed to turn this into a positive and allocated the tasks in a way that allowed each team member to work to their strengths and produce the best work possible.

The first step of the project was to select a suitable site, we first decided on a suitable size and then looked at local plans for available sites. After this we split the next sections of the project up between individuals, everyone still had the opportunity to input into every section of the report. We researched the buildability of our proposed development, looking at areas such as site access, materials, and a sequence of operations for the construction of the plant. Another area we looked at was sustainability, a SUDS design was proposed for the site as well as looking into the embodied carbon and the operational carbon of the plant and ways in which we could reduce this through the use of various materials and renewable energy. We completed some structural analysis on the proposed office building. Site drawings were also produced detailing location, proposed layouts and our SUDS plan. As appendices to the report, I was involved in producing meeting minutes, a group learning contract and a programme of works.

The two areas that I was most involved in within the body of the report were the risk assessments and the planning permission. We were required to produce risk assessments for two main construction activities, I produced one for the construction of reinforced concrete, two of the main risks being hot works associated with cutting rebar reinforcement and concrete burns from the placing of wet concrete. The biggest section of the report that I produced with one other group member was the planning permission section. We considered and analyzed various planning assessments, the ones that I looked into were archaeological evaluation, flood risk and surface water drainage, landscaping and open space, lighting and noise, parking provisions, land contamination, site appraisal, supporting planning statement and finally environment and biodiversity. After completing all the relevant assessments, we filled in a planning application form from the local authority.

If you would like any further information on this project, my work within it or information on myself please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Concept layout of the complex. Credit (Jack Dwyer)


Skip to content