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NCE Graduate Awards: Top of the Class

Personal involvement with the inner workings of the ICE, and the daily diary of its President, have become prime perks to winners of NCE’s Graduate Awards, now seeking entries for the 2011 event in December.

Exciting opportunity

Current ICE president Peter Hansford and his successor this November Richard Coackley, have been so impressed with the calibre of the competition’s finalists over the last two years that winners are being invited to sit in on ICE meetings, visits and lobby sessions.

Three finalists in the 2009 awards are in this year’s team of ICE President apprentices, who are regularly shadowing and being personally mentored by Peter Hansford.

And current overall Graduate Award winner Stuart Ross will be invited by Richard Coackley to become a special graduates’ ambassador accompanying him on ICE and even ministerial visits to voice the needs of graduate engineers.

“It is a fantastic opportunity and a real privilege working closely with the President and learn how the ICE operates on a daily basis”

Halcrow graduate engineer Chris Lloyd

“It is a fantastic opportunity and a real privilege working closely with the President and learn how the ICE operates on a daily basis,” says Halcrow graduate engineer Chris Lloyd, a current President’s apprentice and a Graduate Award runner up 18 months ago.

Lloyd, fellow runner up Owen Jones and overall winner of the 2009 Graduate Awards James O’Donnell, were all
chosen by Hansford last November to be three of his seven President’s apprentices.

As such they have, or will, each receive several hours of one to one mentoring by the President and a couple of days accompanying him to meetings, dinners and regional ICE visits.

Jones, a graduate engineer with Laing O’Rourke, is equally appreciative of his apprentice role. “The President has a very approachable style and extensive personal experience,” he says.

Dual benefits

The mentoring experience has not been all one way though, as Hansford reckons he is also benefiting.
“I have been able to see the ICE through much younger eyes,” he says. “This allows me to fully appreciate the issues that really concern young engineers.”

The third apprentice, 2009 NCE Graduate of the Year James O’Donnell has yet to fully benefit from the scheme as, within hours of being appointed last winter, he left on an assignment to Australia based in employer Arup’s Melbourne office.

Here he is leading the structural design team for a complex £6M extension to Australia’s National Museum in Canberra, which has just gone out to tender. “I am sure that winning the Graduate Awards had an influence in being offered such a valuable opportunity.”

Current NCE Graduate of the Year Stuart Ross will be offered even closer involvement with graduate development when next ICE president Richard Coackley invites him into the presidential team later this year.
“Graduates are our future and we must make full use of the contribution they can offer,” says Coakley.

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