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Working part-time as a structural engineer while studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering.

Engineering student, Cameron Beechey, joined Structure Design on a part-time basis for six months to gain structural engineering experience while studying towards his degree. We asked him about this experience and how it’s benefitted him:

Why did you decide to join Structure Design?

I wanted to gain some experience by working part-time while studying. I applied to a number of firms and chose Structure Design because the team biographies on the website showed the team’s wealth of diverse experience and the project write-ups highlighted the wide variety of projects the team have worked on - from sculptures to multi-storey timber buildings. I also knew Structure Design had been involved in the new Engineering building at the University of Auckland, which was a great selling point to a current student.

How did you find the work environment?

Everyone was really welcoming and made an effort to get me involved. The engineers and draughts-people took the time to explain things to me and I found the monthly engineering meetings really interesting – and learnt a lot from them. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Structure Design.

What are the key things you’ve learnt as a result of your time here?

This experience has given me a taste of what it’s like to be involved in real-world projects and to apply my engineering knowledge. At university the problems are neatly packaged, whereas here the design process is much more iterative and collaborative.

What projects have you been involved with?

I’ve worked on a number of smaller projects including for the University of Auckland. A highlight was designing a frame for a new robot, which required a frequency analysis. I have also been involved with parametric design, as well as general member design for larger projects. I worked alongside the draftees and got to see how they use Revit. This was really helpful and a great learning experience.

Would you recommend working at Structure Design to other students or recent graduates?

Yes, definitely. It’s a great place to work and has affirmed my desire to be a structural engineer. It’s the perfect size too – not too big that you get lost nor too small so there is always someone around to ask for help. I’ve really enjoyed the experience and found it incredibly beneficial. It’s been a great building block and has set me in good stead for my career.

Cameron Beechey
Brick Bay Folly

Peter Boardman has been lucky enough to be involved in the Brick Bay Folly Project for the last 2 awards as a judge.  The annual Brick Bay Folly projects are inspired by a quirky interpretation of an architectural ‘structure’ and challenge new architects to stretch wide their imagination.  Being part of the judging panel along with Cheshire Architects Ltd, Resene and Unitec, Peter helps mentor and offer technical support to the designers.

In architecture, a folly is an ornamental structure that lacks practical purpose. The Brick Bay Folly Project began in 2015 and entry into the 2023 Folly are now open:

The most recent Brick Bay Folly winner was The Nest in 2021 designed by Joseph Trace, Brandon Carter-Chan and Nicholas Rowsby - three recent graduates of Auckland University's School of Architecture. The sculpture has now been officially opened to the public.

Open New Office

In response to growing client demands for structural engineering support in the Bay of Plenty, we have recently opened an office in Tauranga.

Tim Swager has joined us as Engineering Manager, Tauranga and he is tasked with building our BOP team and delivering innovative structural solutions to clients in the region.

Peter Boardman, Structure Design's founding Director says:

"Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty region is a growth area. We want to bring a focus on innovation and sustainable design to structural engineering in the region. We're delighted to have Tim onboard. His timber engineering background, as well as his experience in designing a wide range of structures, means we can partner with architects, clients and other consultants on the ground combining the best of everyone's thinking to create designs that better meet client objectives, bring the architecture to life, and leave a positive legacy for future generations."


If you'd like more information or would like to talk to us about a project you have in the pipeline, please contact Tim on mobile 021 025 19527, or email him at or connect with him on linked in here.

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