Dale Lyon: A master class at ConStructEd Scotland



Director Dale Lyon gives an insight into how ConStrucEd Scotland has overcome a challenging year.

Concrete Scotland-ExpLearn has again collaborated with the University of Strathclyde to develop and deliver an experience like no other at the ConStructEd Scotland compound, within Sibbald Training, Blackridge, West Lothian.

This five-day Intensive Study Period is the culmination of a course which takes the students out of their comfort zone whilst challenging not only their engineering abilities but also in their emotional intelligence, resilience, leadership and many more of their transversal skills. In its second year of delivery, it has had the added difficulty in 2020 of initial delivery having to be via virtual conferencing which has added difficulties not least participants coming from not only different countries but from three different continents.

CL995: Industrial Design & Construction is a masters program at the University of Strathclyde, which really challenges the participating students over a twelve-week period. The students are challenged to present a concept design to a challenge that ExpLearn has posed. Last year they were asked to design a viewing platform beside the new Rothera Wharf that has been built by BAM Nuttall in the Antarctic and supported by SWECO UK and this year the context to the program was, again, a current BAM Nuttall project, the Garden Footbridge over the M8 in Sighthill Glasgow. 

The participating students then decided which two of the submitted concept designs they felt merited being taken further to the design stage and formed two separate companies to develop the engineered solutions further over the following weeks.

Last year and this year Stuart Burke & Kiloh Associates have helped throughout the project to guide the students through sound engineering principles and also designed the final viewing platform “The Burloh Teardrop” from an amalgamation of the students own designs.

This “Garden Footbridge” was designed by Jacobs and they worked with Concrete Scotland in designing this year’s “Jacobs Clyde Footbridge” which will be built on the ConStructEd Scotland facility, which is situated as you enter Sibbald Training’s grounds at Blackridge. This intensive study period sees the Masters students combine with other volunteers to build the final structure, this year as Asteria Construct. The volunteers are a mixture of Post Graduates, Under Graduates, College and Senior Secondary School Pupils 

The Masters students from the University of Strathclyde have developed the Schedule of Works, Risk Assessments and Method Statements over the previous three weeks and are tasked with delivering this project in safely on time, on budget and to a sufficiently high level of quality.

Supported by BAM Nuttall the students will carry out all the tasks, which include piling, steel fixing, Formwork manufacturing and concreting, to construct a 12m long Footbridge. Sunbelt Rentals assist at the start of the project week instructing the students in setting out first principles whilst Concrete Scotland – ExpLearn ensures that all of the key learning points are covered.



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