Lyons O'Neill

Focus on: Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)

Surface water provides unique challenges on many construction sites. When flat, impermeable materials are used in and around buildings, there is less space for natural infiltration, and excess surface water must be smartly managed to avoid flooding and pollution. With these challenges come the need for specialist engineer involvement at all stages of a project especially at the pre-planning stage.

In a large number of our own projects, we’ve been able to factor sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) into complex building sites from the very beginning of the design stage. These drainage systems ensure surface water is managed in a controlled matter and directed to where it won’t negatively impact both the client and the surrounding environment.

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How to become an engineer

In recent years, we’ve seen lots of initiatives hoping to get young people more interested in engineering. However, the number of engineering paths to choose from means it can still be difficult for prospective students to determine which will be the right fit for them. We’re hoping to make things a little clearer with this handy guide, because we firmly believe that engineering should be an accessible career option for all.

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Project updates

Autumn is officially underway and with it comes the start of the new school term. As thousands of students return to school, college and university, we’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on the education projects we have completed recently. From our experience, we know that the built environment and school facilities has a big impact on student engagement, concentration levels, and even mental health so it’s crucial to get it right. We’re proud of our work on these projects and our whole education sector portfolio, helping inspire and support the learning of the next generation!

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Focus on: Drawing and modelling

Engineering and construction projects are by necessity complex undertakings. The numerous stages of planning, design, development and construction with multiple parties involved means communication needs to be flawless. With deadlines, budgets and client expectations to be met, it’s imperative that everyone is on the same page and working as effectively as possible. Miscommunication not only endangers project goals but operatives’ personal safety so finding a way to accurately and effectively share information is paramount. In engineering, drawing and modelling plays a pivotal role in this.

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How can prefabricated construction work with bespoke site conditions?

The resurgence in prefabricated building can hardly come as a surprise. With the ability to dramatically cut programme time, costs and waste, prefabrication techniques are helping provide solutions to construction’s biggest problems. As concerns over climate change, the economy and housing shortfalls only continue to rise the race is on to build more efficiently and sustainably and prefabrication is able to deliver on both. No wonder the prefabricated housing market is estimated to reach $19.3 billion globally by 2024.

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Focus on: Engineering and the arts

You’re probably familiar with the stereotypes: artists lounge around in paint-smudged smocks, creating statement paintings and thought-provoking sculptures, whilst engineers lock themselves away in sleek glass office towers and spend their days hunched over technical diagrams and calculators. You might accept the common belief that engineers belong firmly in the camp of science, and that they inhabit a completely different world to artists. But what if we started describing engineering as an art form? After all, the very best engineers are creatives; they design, they build, they imagine new possibilities and they innovate from within and outside of the frameworks of their discipline. 

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Meet the engineer: James Protherough

Once more, we’re giving you the opportunity to get to know one of our engineers a bit better. Whether you’re someone who works in the industry, a prospective student or just someone with a keen interest in engineering, we’re hoping to offer a telling insight into what life as an engineer is really like. We sat down with Lyons O’Neill’s Senior Structural Engineer James Protherough to chat about what drew him to the profession and what the job involves. 

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How can the engineering sector appeal to young people?

Last week’s GCSE results day announcements got us thinking about the future of engineering. In recent years, the sector has embraced the proliferating use of digital technology as a more efficient way of working. With the chance to appeal to the first generation of true digital natives, it is imperative that the sector understands the importance of knowing how to attract young engineers. 

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Whaley Bridge: What can we learn?

This month, around 1,500 residents of Whaley Bridge were evacuated from their homes as a precaution taken in the event of a nearby damaged dam collapsing. The dam held back 1.2m tonnes of water from the Toddbrook reservoir, and was put under strain after a sequence of heavy rain and thunderstorms threatened to cause overspill into the nearby town. Whilst the residents were safely allowed to return to their homes, the general upkeep of the dam has been called into question by government officials and industry experts alike. Heavy rain is expected in the north of England and structures are built with it in mind. It was however, the extent of the damage to the dam’s spillway which led to the evacuation of Whaley Bridge, leading engineers to question what went wrong.

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