Photo: Charlotte Graham
Lin Qi (BSc Architecture 2017) is one of 16 railway key workers chosen to star in an exhibition at the National Railway Museum to celebrate the vital role they have played during the pandemic. She shares her surprises along the route from Bath graduate to working on HS2.
“After graduating, I joined Laing O’Rourke on the graduate scheme as a Planner. The first project I was involved with was the Hinkley Workers Campus Project in Somerset before I joined High Speed 2 (HS2), Europe’s largest infrastructure project.
“The most rewarding thing about construction for me is getting to see a design on paper transition to a physical end project – so naturally my highlights are linked to major project milestones or project completions.
“However, being a part of the HS2 project has provided a few additional highlights, such as the opportunity to be a part of the National Railway Museum’s ‘Railway Heroes’ exhibition and hosting the Prime Minister during a visit to one of our construction sites near Solihull in the West Midlands.
“I’m really honoured to participate in the exhibition, and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to represent Laing O’Rourke and J. Murphy Joint Venture on behalf of HS2.
“My work on HS2 has been quite varied, and I’ve been involved with three separate parts of the project. My first role was as a Planner, looking after the programme for ecological and environmental workstreams. In my second role, I was responsible for the programme delivering four bridge structures using modern construction methods that help to reduce time and cost. Most recently, I have transitioned into an Assistant Project Manager role looking after the delivery and handover of up to 16km of the route.
“The most eye-opening thing that I've come across on the HS2 project is the sheer scale and care of the ecological and environmental mitigation measures involved. When you think about construction or engineering challenges, ecology isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind, but I'm working on the country’s biggest environmental project!
“As an Architecture student, you’re taught a combination of practical skills, analysis, contextual awareness and how to design – along with historical theory, a combination of arts and sciences. You learn about the link between geopolitics and the design of historical buildings, why context might change the way a project is built, and calculations and equations, as well as how to produce and analyse sketches. It’s the perfect degree course for any career related to the built environment.
“I was attracted to Bath as it gave me an opportunity to study Architecture in a city that’s architecturally beautiful and historic. It was also ranked as the leading UK university for the subject. The ‘sandwich degree’ course structure, paired with the fantastic facilities at the University, made Bath a simple decision.
“My favourite memories from my time at the University are connecting and meeting new people from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life. I really enjoyed my course, as well as getting involved with a range of activities, sports and societies.
“I’d advise new graduates to have a goal in mind but to be flexible. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be working in infrastructure! However, through being open-minded, the experience, learning and opportunities I have gained are invaluable."