At Bristol we do our best to make sure that all our students find it easy to get a job on graduation. In particular we have an Industrial Liaison Office (ILO) which organises many industry-related events and opportunities including newsletters, lectures and a discussion group to help with job hunting. In addition, the ILO organises a faculty wide mentoring scheme and an internship scheme which expands on the Department's Industrial Tutor scheme and Industrial Scholarship Scheme.
One of the distinctive features of the course at Bristol is that you will be attached to one of our Industrial Tutors from outside the University, who are senior engineers working in the local area. Visiting them in small groups, you will have the opportunity to experience practical activity in design offices and on construction sites during the year. This joint scheme with the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers helps undergraduate students to understand the construction industry and what it is like to work as an engineer in practice. The scheme will also help you to build up useful contacts in the industry locally. Indeed, a high proportion of our graduates find employment in Bristol or nearby.
The Department also runs an Industrial Scholarship Scheme through which Companies select students for sponsorship. Up to forty students are selected each year to receive professional and financial support during the first two years of their academic career. The scholarship often continues for the rest of the student's time at Bristol by mutual agreement.
We maintain strong links with industry through the professional Institutions (in particular the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers) and through our collaborative teaching, research and consulting work. The spin-off is that much of our teaching is supported by Visiting Industrial Professors and Visiting Fellows.
Members of the academic staff regularly carry out consultancy related to their specialist areas and play a significant part in local, national and international professional activities. We also have a Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) which provides independent advice on all aspects of our work.
The construction industry touches the lives of everyone. It is, however, a highly fragmented, high risk, low margin, volatile industry and consequently investment in education and research is the lowest of all industrial sectors. However there are very real changes now happening to the way the industry operates, under the general heading of ‘Rethinking Construction’ in which the Department is involved both in teaching and research. In brief the industry is attempting to move away from a confrontational litigious culture to one of cooperation and teamwork in partnership. There are fundamental concerns in society about the environment and about our infrastructure, from climate change to the railways. Civil Engineers have distinct and important roles in all of these matters. We see the systems approach as being important in our teaching and research in contributing both to the changing industry and in how these big questions concerning the climate can be tackled.