Working with CGL, you will get involved in a diverse range of projects and sites than with much larger multinational companies where the focus tends to be on single major projects. The variety of projects provides a fast-track experience, incredible project variety and involvement with many challenging engineering designs. All of our engineers are involved in both the technical aspects of their projects as well as project planning and project financial management, with an emphasis on personal development into new skill areas.
CGL offers temporary jobs and internships for students, including:
- Summer placements
- Industrial sandwich placements within a first degree, which can use a CGL project in a dissertation
- Erasmus Programme (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students)
- MSc placements using a CGL project for academic study
Temporary experience with CGL gives you an advantage if you later apply for a permanent role.
Apply for a work placement at CGL
We normally offer two to three work placements per year to help undergraduates, typically in civil engineering or geology to develop their careers in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. Please register your interest for 2024 by applying here. Placements for 2023 have been filled.
Students who have worked with CGL
Charles Hooper – Industrial Placement Engineer → Graduate Engineer → Senior Engineer
I first came to CGL on a sandwich year placement between the second and third year of studying Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Bradford. I had covered some basic soil mechanics and foundation design in my course, but over the duration of the year’s placement, I had the chance to experience and learn a broad range of geotechnical engineering practices and design. I got a taste of everything from site work, geoenvironmental report writing, geotechnical design, and learning geology from experienced engineers and directors. All this meant that when I went back to complete my final year, I was far more familiar with geotechnics than my peers and impressed my lecturers, choosing my own geotechnical focussed dissertation topic using project data provided by CGL, receiving a 1:1 in my dissertation and overall.
After graduating, I returned as a Graduate Engineer, building on my what I had learned during the placement and my final year of university, settling straight back in with the CGL team as I was already familiar with the practice and my colleagues. Over the course of my second year, I worked on progressively more complex projects and design tasks as my knowledge of the field improved as well as being trusted with greater responsibility and independence. Organising and running site investigations, authoring reports and starting to use 3D finite element analysis software for complex geotechnical assessment.
During the 2020-21 academic year, I took a sabbatical to attend a full-time MSc in Soil Mechanics with Environmental Geotechnics at Imperial College London. The MSc deepened my understanding of geotechnics and as an accredited masters degree, qualified me for Chartership through the ICE.
Since graduating the MSc, I have continued working for CGL, working towards my ICE Chartership and have begun managing projects myself, continuing similar work to that which I began during my placement, but to a higher standard and more independently. In June of this year, I moved to the London Office and continue to be involved in projects across the UK and Ireland.
I opted to include a sandwich year between the second and third year whilst I was an undergraduate in Engineering Geology at the University of Portsmouth. The prospect of working a year in the industry was attractive as I gained direct applicable industrial experience prior to finishing my degree. This was solidified by hearing only positive feedback from students returning from their sandwich year.
While searching through companies to apply to, the industrial placement scheme provided by CGL stood out from the rest for many reasons, such as the clearly laid out mission, vision and values that are incorporated into the company core to help pursue an efficient work ethic. A significant factor I was searching for in a company was the opportunity to gain a broad range of experiences in all disciplines to get the most out my time spent there. CGL has allowed me to do just this, through shadowing qualified engineers and working independently in all roles during site work, report writing and project management.
Why I chose to do a work placement with CGL
After just three months with CGL I felt I had rapidly developed my knowledge and understanding of geotechnical and geoenvironmental consultancy.
I was welcomed by friendly employees, and from day one I was putting into practice skills that I had learnt in the first two years of my degree. There was a heavy focus on training both in the field and in the office. Field work training included soil and rock logging, sampling, monitoring and team leadership. I developed my communication abilities; learnt to use technical software packages such as gINT, AutoCAD and ArcGIS; and within the first week I had achieved my CSCS qualification.
Working for CGL on its industrial placement scheme enabled me to get a foot in the door of an exciting and rewarding industry. I gained invaluable skills which I would never have gained inside the classroom. It helped me to make clear and informed decisions about the future of my career.
I worked for CGL as part of a 10 to 12-month work placement, acting as part of my four-year degree course in engineering geology and geotechnics at the University of Portsmouth. My time at CGL has been thoroughly enjoyable for a number of reasons. The relaxed atmosphere around the office makes it easy to work and there’s an endless supply of knowledge everywhere. I’ve found that none of my questions (and being new, there are a lot of questions) go unanswered, and I’m not made to feel inadequate because of them. CGL puts an emphasis on training their employees, with regular meetings to discuss new training schemes or similar that will benefit us, and therefore benefit our clients. Within my first month I was put on a CSCS supervisor course and a soil logging course, both with great long term benefits to me and my work. The work I’ve done varied on a daily basis and there is a good mixture of site work and office based work.
Feedback I received from course mates doing placements with other companies suggests that they were pigeon-holed into a set work routine which would leave them with a limited experience of the industry. I felt the opposite is true with CGL, as I was pushed to try new types of work, whether it’s logging, monitoring or sampling onsite, or completing desk based studies in the office. I had regular opportunities to give feedback about CGL and how my placement was going, whether I would change anything or like to do anything new, and my comments were always heard and acted upon.
As an Industrial Work Placement Engineer at CGL, you really get to experience what it means to be part of a geotechnical/geoenvironmental consultancy. Despite being an undergraduate student, there’s an enormous variety in projects you can get involved with.
One of my main jobs during the year was the writing of Phase 1 Geoenvironmental Desk Studies. These initial site appraisals provided a good introduction to thinking about contaminated land and potential ‘source-pathway-receptor’ relationships. These desk studies would also involve undertaking a site walkover, which provide a good opportunity to get out of the office, go take some pictures and poke around a site. Throughout the placement I would also regularly have the opportunity to take part in the initial proposal stage of projects, assessing the best scope of works for a site and pricing it up.
Whilst the majority of my work was office based, I have also spent time onsite.
I undertook routine groundwater and gas monitoring at a range of sites in Leeds, Chesterfield and Kendal and then assisted other engineers during larger site works projects where we had multiple drilling crews onsite. Towards the end of the year, I took the lead in a project at HM Prison Full Sutton, near York. It was proposed to turn a current open grassed area between prison wings into a fenced training yard with an access track. I supervised the drilling works which, after we got through the extensive security checks, involved drilling five window sample holes and some probing. It was definitely an interesting experience, even if it was a little daunting at first! Overall, taking a Year in Industry with CGL has been a valuable experience and I would highly recommend it to any Earth Sciences/Engineering undergraduate students interested in a work placement.
Alex Smith – Placement Engineer
I came to CGL (Harrogate office) during my summer vacation between the third and fourth year of studying Geology at the University of Southampton. With my Masters Project based in the environmental sector (Lead isotope tracing of road-derived contaminants in the Brighton – Worthing Chalk aquifer system), it was very interesting and extremely useful for me to see the contrast from academia to professional works within the Environmental/ Geotechnical sector.
During my placement, I was mainly involved in Phase I Geoenvironmental Desk Studies, with most of these reports leading to further site investigation (Phase II). The main aim for these Desk Studies was to look at potential contaminant pathways, based on the source – pathway – receptor model. These reports included site walkovers, creating a PCSM (Preliminary Conceptual Site Model) and also meeting clients to discuss development plans and site history. In addition, I was involved in writing proposals for clients, constructing Health and Safety documents for site visits (such as RAMS) and designing spreadsheets to help save the company (and clients) both time and money.
My placement has taught me a number of key skills involved in the workplace, with a particular focus to being proactive, report writing and helping the team in any way possible.
I would highly recommend CGL for anyone thinking of a work placement, mainly due to the numerous opportunities available to you as well as being included in a friendly and helpful team!
“I encourage any student or recent graduate to apply for a placement or graduate position with CGL, as engaging with the breadth of engineering knowledge and variety of projects in which CGL is involved in is the best way to learn.”