Summer Internship – Ryan Henderson

Over the Summer months, I have been working with the Vitruvius team as an Intern in between University semesters. Whilst this was only for a short few months, the opportunities and experiences I have been exposed to are nothing short of fantastic!  My induction into the team as an undergraduate Civil Engineer was seamless and I was welcomed by everyone. During my internship, I have been exposed to a range of projects, which have brought highlights and learning opportunities.

During my time at Vitruvius, some of the significant projects I have assisted in include:

  • Wellington, Porirua Area Capacity Enhancement (PACE) – Drawing and drafting components for: New stormwater drainage & service details for Plimmerton Train Station, Steyne Ave temporary crossing, mainline pedestrian crossing and general assistance across the PACE sector.
  • Opotiki, Pirirakau Road Development (40 lot subdevelopment) – Project delivery and Project management through communication with client & contractor and refining project specific Schedules of Prices in Excel.
  • Aongatete, Scalar Testing – Performing scalar tests along a 1 km private driveway for preparation to upgrade the existing metal road to asphalt.

Some of the most prominent highlights from my time at Vitruvius include:

  • Working with a view! Scalar testing in Aongatete provided a fantastic sight from Mount Maunganui, all the way to Bowentown. In addition, the weather was perfect to conduct the Scalar tests.
  • Vitruvius paid for me to fly down to the Wellington office for the two weeks leading up to Christmas. The Wellington office needed support ensuring that the work for PACE was delivered in time before the KiwiRail construction period (over Christmas to New Years). During those two weeks, we were able to smash out the design delivery and head into Christmas without missing the deadline.
  • The end of year Christmas party was the best I’ve had yet! Kicking things off with a trip to Rotorua to venture out with the Duck Tours where we had a wonderful drive around key landmarks with plenty of games and activities along the way. The next major activity included riding down the luge at Skyline. All food and drink was provided at all points along the way. All in all, a remarkable day out with plenty of hilarious moments that will be cemented in my memory forever.

Whilst contributing to a range of projects, there were plenty of learning opportunities that have now provided me with more skills under the belt. Some of these include:

  • With plenty of work revolving around excel use, I was able to further my knowledge with greater formatting, overall efficiency improvement, utilizing tables, manipulating dates, generating a visual (and self updating) timeline using graphs and a number of handy formulas.
  • AutoCAD is a tool I was able to develop throughout a number of the drafting and drawing projects I was involved in. I learnt the importance of xrefs, creating blocks, viewports, title block setup, rev clouds and a general optimisation in efficiency.
  • Familiarising myself with the New Zealand Contract Standards (AS/NZS 3915:2005 & AS/NZS 3910:2013) was crucial before assisting in the project delivery sector for the Opotiki works to understand appropriate communication between client/contractor and the respective obligations.

While this is a somewhat lengthy summary, there are still plenty more other events, highlights and skills which I haven’t mentioned. With all being said, working with Vitruvius was a highlight in itself. The culture within the workplace was, and still will be exceptional.

Ryan Henderson