Profile: Vessy Dobreva

Course: MEng Civil Engineering (Year 4)

From: Sophia, Bulgaria

What inspired you to become a civil engineer?

I was inspired to be a civil engineer because I wanted to build an airport. I have spent a lot of evenings and weekend taking trips to the airport at home in Bulgaria to send off one of my parents on yet another trip. I always wondered how the airport works as a system, how they ensured planes landed safely, and what made a building suitable to accommodate the emotional charge to a goodbye or a welcome to someone dear.

What are the best things about studying civil engineering at Bristol?

The best things about the course are the projects that we are given to work on in different areas of civil. We’ve explored surveying and road setting out in first year, design of concrete and steel buildings in second, design of a dam, a highway junction and a school in third, and we were given a vast array of projects to work on in our fourth, from windfarms design to tackling congestion in Bristol to redesigning family owned businesses.

Can you describe your experience at Mott Macdonald and what sorts of things you were doing day to day?

During my two summers I was working for two different teams so my focus was varied. I spent time on preparing templates for project management assessments, I looked at flood defences and river basin assets. I helped organise work for the power grid redevelopment and the management of a project in Kazakhstan for a newly developed settlement for oil company workers. My highlights included site visits to assess the necessity for road safety measures, and I was also fascinated to see how bat surveys are conducted.

How has the work experience/internship at Mott Macdonald supported your career plans?

It gave me the opportunity to experience the industry world. I was exposed to the everyday life of a consultant engineer and it helped me decide I want to stay in the industry. It also put my name on the radar for one of the biggest companies in the field and I was able to show them who I am in person rather than just another name on paper.

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