Further to Professor Peter Robery's article I totally concur with his views. My own career started in the designing role and over the last 20 years has been more involved with bridge management and maintenance.
Continuing to nurse this ageing infrastructure, by various techniques, is very rewarding and I would certainly advocate that young up and coming civil engineers spend time in a maintenance office before proceeding onto the design medium.
This would certainly benefit their awareness of whole life costings for future newbuild structures.
Richard Lavender (M), 16 Tailors, St Michael's Mead, Bishops Stortford, Herts, CM23 4FQ