Daniel Marquiegui – MEng Civil and Coastal Engineering graduate

This is Daniel's story...

  • ' Current Employer: AECOM
  • e Current Job Title: Coastal Engineer
  • ( Current Location: Basingstoke
  • & Year of graduation: 2014

I would advise other students that there is a large chance that you will be working for the next forty years of your life so don’t rush into work. Take your time, travel, explore other cultures, and learn another language. When I was a student I had about four months of holidays every year, and now I have four weeks.

Daniel's experience at the University of Plymouth...

The reason I chose the University of Plymouth to carry out my masters is simple. Plymouth has one of the most advanced schools of marine and coastal engineering in the EU, in teaching as well as equipment. Plymouth has some excellent facilities when it comes to ocean or maritime studies, but the best thing of all is that most of them are available to every student. I had the opportunity to carry out my thesis research using the wave tank in the Marine Building. There are only a few facilities like it in Europe and this really gave me the opportunity to carry out as many laboratory studies as I felt necessary.

During my master’s degree at Plymouth, I went from general civil engineering to specializing in coastal, maritime and port engineering. This gave me a greater understanding of the vast amount of diversity in this sector. It made me understand what subjects I liked more than others and those that I did not find as interesting as I thought they would be.

My teachers were always very responsive. Whenever I needed help or support for my thesis or any other matter, I always got the help I needed. Also, the library services at the University of Plymouth are excellent. Once you learned to use the library facilities, everything became really easy as the library provides you with a huge amount of services that facilitate your studying experience. 

When we are students we think that we are experts in our fields when we are not. I learned more in three months at AECOM than during the whole three years of my undergraduate degree. I recommend carrying out a placement year, not only for CV purposes but also because you will be able to see your studies in a different perspective and will gain a much deeper understanding of your topic.

Since graduation...

I finished my Masters in coastal engineering in October 2014. In January 2015 I left the UK and headed to Bologna, Italy, where I managed to secure a position as a graduate civil engineer. I worked there for about a year when I decided to head back to the UK, where I got offered the job as a coastal engineer in AECOM.

As a coastal engineer I rarely get bored, but I will admit that engineering is only a 20 or 30 per cent of my daily activities. The majority of my day to day tasks are different from what I did the day before and I did not expect this in an engineering role. Some days I’m studying some design manual, other days I am analysing data extracted from a buoy 200km from the nearest shore or I’m designing a breakwater for a port in Chile.