MEng Civil and Architectural Engineering Placement Student

Wesley Onn Wei Rong


Placement (10 Months+)

Newcastle Maritime Team

I worked alongside the Newcastle Maritime Team under the Ports, Coastal and Offshore sector (PCO). Throughout the course of my placement, I had the opportunity to work on a diverse set of projects, each providing valuable insight into the overall industry and valuable skills to bring forward in my education and career.

Holborn Enabling Works, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

A £20 million brownfield land remediation project based in South Shields in preparation for an upcoming housing development. I primarily worked as a Site Supervisor for 6 months, assisting the site team in monitoring and documenting several different works which included pavement design, tie rod installation, piling works, earthworks, surveying, water quality management, and several others. I also involved myself in the design side of the project which included CAD design and reinforced concrete calculation checks.

The project shed some light on those working in construction and allowed me to experience the complex relationships shared between Clients, Designers and Contractors as well as its complexities.

Redcar Bulk Terminal Upgrade Works, Middlesborough

Redcar Bulk Terminal is a deepwater marine terminal set to be the deepest terminal on the East coast of the UK. I was part of the site investigation team to identify any sources of clashes prior to some SPMT unloading works as well as assisting in the cost estimations for the upgrade works.

During the site walkover, I used my 360-camera to generate an interactive 360-photosphere tour with the aid of Google Earth. I saw an opportunity for improvement from taking pictures along the length of the wharf to form an idea of the state of the site. My method offered a better understanding of the site at these discreet points, which is valuable for those who have never been to site prior, whilst maintaining data confidentiality via Mott MacDonald’s SharePoint.

PD Ports Inspections, Scunthorpe

During a site inspection, our team was called down to Scunthorpe during the early hours of the morning to catch the low tide to assess the conditions of two assets under PD Ports. We took a small boat to identify and assess defects that were exposed at low tide. Like the previous inspection, I brought my 360-camera to record data for our Site Walkover.

Upon returning to the office, I generated several reports reflecting on our observations. I learned a great deal on the standard practices involved in investigations and report generation, which was a valuable skill moving forwards in my time with Mott MacDonald.

Dover Framework – Principal Inspections, Dover

I was involved with generating several cost estimates for remediation works suggested by inspectors during the previously conducted inspections. In total, I generated cost estimates for 20 separate assets in the Port of Dover. I cross-referenced commercially available data and Highway Codes to generate a library of standard values I used for all the cost estimates. I was able to contribute constructively to team meetings independently as I was familiar with the overall scope of the project, being the main originator for most of the cost estimate reports.

As part of the cost estimates, I was introduced to Survey123 which was a software which could produce interactive dashboard which presented the Client with a cohesive idea of the state of all the assets; asset history, noted defects, suggested remediations and cost of remedial works which included cost breakdowns. I worked closely alongside other members of my team and the primary owner of the dashboard, delegating work and functioning independently from my line manager.

Due to Survey123 being a new software, it was not as refined. However, the software showed promise as an exciting look into the future of BIM in the construction industry and how emerging software such as this was already being used to provide a fully contextualised site data to the Client and allow for greater accessibility.


My time with Mott MacDonald has allowed me to see works from different perspectives, passively improving a variety of technical, planning and management skills. Familiarising myself with maritime engineering has been the most interesting aspect of the works we are involved with as the terms and concepts were unfamiliar to me prior to joining.

Coupled with the dynamic nature of the job and the abundance of support available to me in the form of literature and senior advice, I will be returning to Mott MacDonald as a graduate if provided the opportunity.

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