Its reputation is based on projects such as the Sydney Opera House, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, London’s Millennium Bridge, M6 Toll Road and the City of Manchester Stadium.
Typical annual graduate intake is 50 civil plus 40 structural. Arup looks for creative, dynamic and enthusiastic individuals with a capability for original thought. A limited number of industrial (mid degree and 9 months in length) placements are also on offer. These can be applied for through the website www.arup.com/careers using the online application form.
Arup also offers a gap year scheme for those wishing to work before going on to study engineering at university – the pre-university trainee scheme. Every year about 12 places are offered for a placement which lasts from September through to the following May. There is a possibility of sponsorship after the gap year or industrial placement.
ICE-accredited training scheme
2008 civil engineering graduate intake; approximately 50 civil and 40 structural
Gap year and mid-degree industrial placements available
Possible sponsorship available after successful placement
Competitive starting salary
Taxable "settling in" allowance for graduates
Flexible benefits scheme
Company contributory pension
Subsidised private health care
22 days holiday plus bank holidays
Locations: throughout the UK and overseas
Apply: For graduate recruitment, industrial placement recruitment and pre-university trainee recruitment please apply via relevant online application form at: www.arup.com
Graduate profile: Robin Campbell
While still at school, Robin Campbell was clear that his future was in engineering. 'I chose GCSE courses that interested me, and then A levels in subjects that I was good at,' he recalled. 'They all led to me choosing to study engineering at university – it simply seemed to be the most interesting option.
I applied to Arup because of its range of high profile and innovative projects, but I was then won over by the humane ethos and honest attitude that is apparent throughout the firm. It means a lot to me that I am working with many like-minded people. There is a good feel in the office and that is important too – it is more like a studio environment than an office, really, everyone helps each other out.' Robin continued 'I like the mix of being indoors and outdoors, and working on projects that are evolving and changing that comes with being an engineering, I am working in the water group, so I have had experience of a mix of projects as part of a framework agreement with Welsh Water. Developing scheme design solutions for severe flooding may not be glamorous but it is important. I find it reassuringly satisfying to visit customers and listen and understand the issues and then reach a solution. The projects I have worked on have been a mix of the classic things that you would expect civil engineering to be all about, through to developing hydraulic modelling and being strategic – so I am getting a lot of experience in the less tangible side of engineering, which is great. University puts you in good stead, but it does not teach you everything – there is plenty more to learn.'
'Working at Arup has met my expectations,' said Robin. 'I get a lot of support but I’ve also been given a lot of autonomy and project responsibility. The environment is very supportive, it is very receptive if you have an idea and want to follow it through. While a student I was very involved in the humanitarian development charity Engineers Without Borders. I found other Arup graduates with the same interest and we have come together to start a support group within Arup to support the students. I think that’s quite unique.'
Graduate profile: Emily King
Emily’s MEng in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Liverpool put her in a good position to go out and start her career. However, despite an exciting secondment to Brazil for Engineers Without Borders, some uninspiring work experience had made her wonder if engineering really was the right career for her.
'I did not enjoy my work placement experience,' she recalled. 'I had heard fantastic things about Arup, though, and the more I looked into it, the more I knew that if it did not work for me at Arup, then I didn’t want to be an engineer.' Attending her interview, Emily knew that Arup was going to be the right place for her – and was hugely delighted to be offered a job that same day. 'The company seemed full of innovation, there were lots of younger people around, the atmosphere was relaxed, I could see it was a place where people were encouraged to generate new ideas,' she recalled.
'On the day of my interview I was certain that if I was going to be happy as a civil engineer, then I wanted to work at Arup.' Emily joined Arup in September 2007, and immediately found herself part of a site development team, with a focus on external works, drainage solutions, road design and infrastructure issues. She was also quickly pulled into the Arup infrastructure global sustainability development project. 'I found myself talking to people all around the world – including directors – to pull together value stories on where Arup had delivered good sustainable infrastructure work. It was a high level overview, and a lot of responsibility – but it made me realise that to be a good engineer I needed a good technical background and some hands on, gritty experience. I am half South African. My director in Manchester knew that I have the travel bug, and about my development engineering ambitions. He made a call to the director in Johannesburg to see if they had any spaces for someone like me – and here I am! Arup has been brilliant – they could see where I needed to be, working on engineering projects that really do make a difference to people’s lives, and have helped me to get here.'
Graduate profile: Anthony Buckley-Thorp
Anthony studied for an MEng in civil engineering at Imperial College, London. A summer’s work placement for a major contractor was teaching him the delivery side of the industry – but talking to another student on a placement with Arup confirmed that the consulting side was for him. The next summer he found his own placement with Arup, resulting in having a job offer lined up– conditional upon his degree, of course.
'I graduated in 2007, and now here I am working for Arup in London as a structural engineer. I am very happy – especially as my first project is The Pinnacle.’ Working on a high profile skyscraper as a first project is a daunting prospect – but with the support that he needs, Anthony is in his element. 'I have got a lot of responsibility, because I am working with one other guy on stability analysis. Between us we are handling the finite element analysis model for the structure. Basically this is a building that is going to change the skyline of London, and it is our job to make sure it will not fall over – it is really exciting.
'There are two other graduates in my team, and lots of Imperial people on other floors in this building', he said. 'Recently 13 of us went to Poland on a 50/50 study trip. It’s an Arup scheme that subsidises half of the cost of a trip to see buildings. We went into the Warsaw office and met the graduates there, as well. We looked at buildings, and had a few good nights out as well. The next trip is to Moscow and St Petersburg. It’s a good way to get to know the other graduates. We do loads of other stuff as well.'
Anthony has signed up to the IStructE graduate scheme. 'I am doing my quarterly reports, and have got a mentor who signs them off and helps me. There are people here who recently sat the exam, and they have been showing me their stuff as well. My boss is also making sure I get all the right experience to meet the different training objectives as well.' 'When I was at uni, a big thing was deciding whether a small firm or a big firm was a better option. Arup is the best of both worlds – it’s like lots of little companies, but we all work together.'