A summer on board with us – an intern’s story

Today marks the end of my summer internship with Wood Thilsted and what a summer it has been! From site visits to delivering internal software, I have been lucky enough to gain a variety of experiences over the course of my placement. Since my first day, it became apparent that WT aim to streamline processes long-term, by creating replicable packages for future use. As a result I was able to expand my programming skill set, and improve my proficiency in MATLAB and Latex.

I was involved in compiling deliverables such as Geotechnical Interpretative Reports (GIR), which allowed me to further my understanding of Geotechnical data by analysing raw data based on the factual reports and building on the theory I have learnt through my studies. Other documentation I have helped to produce include: specifications as well design briefs to be used by our clients, which widened my knowledge of theory and methods that used in real-project applications.

A highlight of my internship was going on site in Greenwich where WT is involved in a redevelopment project. The new design district will comprise 16 buildings, all based on challenging ground conditions and next to or on top of the planned Silvertown tunnel. During my visit, I was able to see a CPT rig in operation. This had always seemed rather abstract to me when reading the process in textbooks, however after being able to see the readings coming out in real time and talking to the operator, I gained full appreciation of this advanced testing method.

In addition I was also invited to sit in on internal meetings and client visits to see the discussions which take place around the table. It was very interesting to see my colleagues to come up with further solutions that satisfy the client’s needs.

I also compiled a piece of internal software which determines pre-consolidation stress and the over-consolidation ratio of oedometer test data, something which eight weeks ago would have seemed very daunting to me, however through the experiences I have gained I can now see the benefits of investing the time to define a solution.

I wish to thank the team for all their ongoing support; as a result during the past eight weeks, I have felt like an integral member of the team and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

I was lucky enough to gain a fantastic understanding how WT deliver their onshore and offshore services, as well as numerous opportunities to access and contribute to on-going projects. As a result of my internship, I now have a hands-on experience of how geotechnical consultancy operates, whilst being given the chance to learn and strengthen my geotechnical skills, standing me in good stead for my final year in university and future career.


Rachel Hopson

Geotechnical intern in our London office, 3rd year Civil and Environmental Engineering student (MEng) at Exeter University