BCU students explore HS2 site metres away from city campus

HS2 viaduct with BCU Curzon building

Birmingham City University

Civil Engineering students from Birmingham City University (BCU) have been given first-hand experience of a HS2 construction site, metres away from their usual classroom.

HS2’s flagship Curzon Street Station is currently under construction between BCU’s city campus and Moor Street Station.

In 2021, HS2 contractor Mace Dragados was appointed to build Birmingham’s state-of-the-art Curzon Street Station. The company hopes the visit will inspire graduates to explore careers on the HS2 project.

In January, HS2 announced the start of construction of the station. Major earthworks are now preparing the site for piling works in the spring, with construction of the main station building due to start this summer.

Gerard Smith, who leads Mace Dragados’s skills and employment programme, said: “Mace Dragados is keen to recruit from our local area and the visit from BCU is part of our strategy to create a pathway for students onto the HS2 Curzon Street project.

“We are actively seeking a Civil Engineering graduate this year as well as a number of placements and we are hopeful that seeing the site in more detail will encourage applications from the students.”

Dr Andy Lim, Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering course at BCU, said the visit provided a “unique opportunity to explore the overall learning and techniques in a realistic and practical setting”, adding that the HS2 project often features as part of the BCU curriculum.

“Today our Civil Engineering students had the opportunity to see HS2’s Curzon Street Station site through the eyes of an onsite engineer, looking at how HS2 engineers and contractors from Mace Dragados are tackling the complex structural design of the station’s foundation in an urban environment like Birmingham.”

“Mace Dragados are employing a range of engineering techniques on site as they build the station over the next few years, which my students will come across frequently and this will be a great job opportunity for them.

“It’s great that they have been able to experience it first-hand as part of their studies at BCU. I’m looking forwards to watching structures rise out of the ground very soon.”

Najai Byfield, a third year Civil Engineering student at BCU, said: “Visiting the HS2 Curzon Street Station as a student and it being my first time on site was an incredible opportunity to witness first-hand the scale and innovation behind such a monumental project.

“It ignited my passion for Civil Engineering and left me inspired and excited to pursue my career in the industry.”

BCU’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE) is located at the university’s City Centre Campus, overlooking HS2’s Curzon Street Station.

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