From Europe’s largest infrastructure project, HS2, to the nuclear plant at Hinkley Point C, incredible feats of civil engineering hit the headlines, becoming iconic and inspiring projects for engineers around the world.

However, there are remarkable engineering accomplishments happening under the radar every day, many of which involve the expertise of our team at WCS.

Our engineers have the opportunity to help clients design a diverse range of infrastructure assets in the UK’s rail and power & energy sectors. Often, one project can have a significant impact, changing an engineer’s skills, approach or even the company itself.

Find out more below as members of our team shine the spotlight on inspiring work in which they’ve been involved.

The first of its kind – Asa Whitfield, Managing Director of WCS

“When WCS provided the civils design for a Static Frequency Converter for the Intercity Express Programme Doncaster Depot Power Upgrade, we were a consultant to Hitachi Energy, who were in turn employed by Network Rail,” remembers Asa.

“This particular converter was the first of its kind in the country. It was quite an undertaking – very complex. Usually, to put a new feed in to power the railway, you need to take power stepped down from the grid.

“We helped Hitachi Energy put together the documentation that won them the tender. They then asked us, if we were to win, would we be interested in completing the design? Our involvement in that project helped to escalate WCS’s growth into becoming the company we are today.”

“But this feed was taken from the distribution network operator (DNO). This meant it was much less expensive and more practical than involving the National Grid network because DNO is a local electrical grid at more compatible voltages.

A major evolution – Dave Crumley, CAD & BIM Manager

In the Armagh office, CAD & BIM Manager Dave Crumley remembers being inspired by the evolution in design during his time at WCS:

“Certainly, when I saw the use of BIM technology and how it could manifest a 3D model, I was impressed by what we could do with such detailed imagery. It can take a bit longer to render the scene in 3D, but once you’ve got it, you can really see how it’s a major evolution in engineering.

“If you add to that the introduction of 4D modelling, which adds the dimension of time, then you’ve got some fantastic technology at your disposal. 4D allows us to see the usage and lifespan of the building in the future, so we can design structures with a better idea of how durable they’ll need to be.

“So, for me, it hasn’t been one project that has inspired me, but the way technology has allowed us to replicate the site in fantastic detail and analyse the proposed design more intricately than ever before.”

Supportive management – Mohamed Omar, Graduate Civil Engineer

Mohamed reflects that the project with the biggest impact for him, thus far, has been the design of foundations for new signalling infrastructure on the Wessex rail route, work he has undertaken with WCS:

“The Wessex signalling project was my first railway infrastructure project. What inspired me particularly was the opportunity to be involved in the project from the very beginning.

“This early involvement gave me valuable insight into how we analyse the brief, obtain the contract, consult with clients, and liaise with project managers on site. I was given the opportunity to visit the site and make calculations alongside Network Rail professionals and our client.”

Mohamed’s experience at Wessex emphasised to him that engineers must know about the broader context of a project:

“Working on this project allowed me to see that valuable wider context, and my line manager – as well as WCS’s senior management – have supported me in learning all this. I’ve found that no matter whether someone is a Graduate or Principal Engineer, the team is willing to invest time and energy, helping me learn and improve.”

Mohamed believes that the culture of support and improvement makes WCS a fantastic workplace for those who are ambitious about a career in engineering design. “I’m really proud to have contributed to making a difference to the transport system that many of us use every day”, he says, “and the valuable experience I’ve picked up on that project will serve me very well in the future.”

A wealth of new experience – Aysegul Goren, Senior Structural Engineer

Aysegul Goren is a Senior Structural Engineer. Originally from Turkey, Aysegul has worked at WCS for a year and a half. One project that sticks in her memory, and provided an inspiration for her engineering journey, was when she was in Turkey.

“It was an Italian-Turkish joint venture to build 5 health facilities and a hotel, extended over an area of about 1,114,000 square metres. I worked at the design office providing a link between designers and site team and contractors. I gained a lot of experience in coordinating different parts of projects.

“I had to develop practical solutions for the site enquiries, and I met and worked with people from across the world. I found the work varied, challenging and satisfying, and it encouraged me to pursue my career in engineering and to work abroad.”

“Here at WCS the work is wide-ranging and the people have been really supportive. If I haven’t had any prior experience in a particular project type, other engineers have been helpful in giving me the information I need to learn.

“For example, I worked on an HV cables support structure for new GIS, AIS and associated electrical equipment at a substation, part of a windfarm scheme; it was the first biggest project I’d been involved in at WCS. I worked with senior colleagues like Matt Smith and Nick Lowe, who helped me improve my knowledge and experience.

“Unlike my previous work in Turkey, which was generally on new structures, railway infrastructure often involves us working on or alongside existing structures with significant site restrictions. This is great because it’s another new experience for me, liaising with multiple parties and appreciating the wider picture beyond design so that everything fits together smoothly.”

If you’d like to discover recruitment opportunities at WCS or have a project you’d like to discuss, visit our careers section or contact page.